Having completed a two-day test at the Autodromo do Algarve in Portimao, Portugal, the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team positively concludes its winter testing in preparation for the opening round of the Supersport world championship, which will take place from 22 to 24 February at the Phillip Island track in Australia, following on from two official test days, on 18 and 19 February, at the same Australian circuit.
Having completed two days of testing at Jerez in Spain, riders Hikari Okubo and Lucas Mahias were able to complete the planned work schedule together with their technicians at Portimao, despite strong winds and rain which saw the final session draw to a premature conclusion.
Both riders worked to fine tune their Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R bikes, testing new updates and continuously improve their lap times. Mahias set a best of 1’45”689, while Okubo stopped the clocks on 1’45”915.
Hikari Okubo: “I’m pleased with these winter tests, as I’ve been able to improve my lap times and better understand how to harness the potential of my Kawasaki. We have worked on the set-up of my bike and I think that when we get to Australia, I’ll be able to push even harder and improve further. Following on from the work we’ve done over these four days, I’ll be able to take another step forward at Philip Island, also thanks to help from my team”.
Lucas Mahias (in the opening photo): “The Portimao test hasn’t gone badly, though I got on better at Jerez. The weather wasn’t really favourable in Portugal, especially with the wind, and in the final stages it started to rain too, which complicated things. I had good sensations with my team anyway and gained additional experience on the bike. I’m sure I can improve further in Australia and take on the opening race in the best possible way”.
Winter testing also concludes for Superbike rider Toprak Razgatlioglu who, having set some excellent lap times at Jerez, has proved to be very fast at Portimao too, recording a best lap of 1’42”537.
In both Spain and Portugal, the young Turk used the 2018 engine but will be able to count on the 2019 engine configuration as of the next tests at Phillip Island, as well as new suspension.
Toprak Razgatlioglu: “Testing has gone well at both Jerez and Portimao. I’ve tried to fine tune my Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R and have been consistently fast. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t help us in Portugal and the strong wind bothered me, preventing me from setting a better time. Now we’ll prepare for the long trip to Australia where I will be able to use the 2019 engine. I can’t wait to start the championship”.
Source: Press release from Kawasaki Puccetti Racing