Superbike: Mid-season test success for Kawasaki Racing Team

KRT’s WorldSBK riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes completed a two-day test at Brno in the Czech Republic, from 25th to 26th April, just a few days after each had earned a race win apiece at the fourth round of the championship in the Netherlands.

Both Ninja ZX-10RR riders and the entire official Kawasaki effort arrived in Brno in confident mood after their recent successes at Assen. Rea extended his championship lead last weekend and Sykes climbed up the championship table to fifth after eight individual points scoring races completed so far.

This Brno test, run alongside some of their main championship rivals, was important for several reasons, including the fact that Brno has not been used as an FIM Superbike World Championship venue since 2012. It was also the culmination of a busy period for KRT, with race meetings in Spain and the Netherlands on consecutive weekends, and now another full-on test at a returning WorldSBK venue.

Rea and his crew used their two days at Brno to match his optimum riding style even more closely to a machine that has already delivered three race wins to him in 2018.

Sykes, who won his first race of the year in the second race at Assen, tried some more fundamental set-up options than most and found another positive path to follow for the rest of the season.

The Brno WorldSBK weekend is expected to be held in even warmer conditions than this test enjoyed, as race days will take place on 9th and 10th of June.

After the completion of two days on track at Brno, Kawasaki’s official team will return to competitive action at Imola, in Italy, with racedays on 12th and 13th of May.

Jonathan Rea: “It’s been really positive to test in Brno especially because we haven’t raced here since 2012. It’s one of my favourite circuits so it was easy to keep my motivation high after these busy few weeks. The weather has been quite different on both days so it was good to understand how the bike behaves in both hot and cool conditions. Without the pressure of the race weekend we were able to work calmly each day and explore some different setup and chassis balance ideas. Each time we changed the bike we had some positive and some less positive feelings, so we will keep working on that side of things. I want to thank all the Kawasaki Racing staff and Hospitality crew who have been working full gas these past three weeks. Also a special shout out to my mechanics, because I kept them really busy making a lot of changes.”

Tom Sykes: “Overall, a good test. Lots of laps and plenty of small tweaks to the bike, so we found out a lot of good information.  I left with a good feeling overall with the feedback from the bike. With it being a proper test we had some key things to try and never got down to the nitty-gritty of finding pure set-up for this racetrack. It was more about fine tuning the bike’s characteristics. The last round at Assen was fantastic and I felt really comfortable, so hopefully we have found some things in small areas that can help me in each race from now on. We found a happy medium between two or three set-up changes, so these helped me in the area I needed improve and we did not lose too much in the areas where we were already good.

Photo Credit: Václav Duska Jr.

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