The Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team has concluded two days of testing at the Jerez de la Frontera track in Spain, as it continues its preparation ahead of the opening round of the Superbike and Supersport world championships, taking place at the end of February at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia.
The Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team’s two Supersport riders, Japanese Hikari Okubo and Frenchman Lucas Mahias, made the most of the sessions, testing new solutions made to the Kawasaki ZX-6R over the winter by the team’s technical staff. Superbike rider Toprak Razgatlioglu rode his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R in its 2018 configuration, as he awaits the 2019 engine that will arrive in time for the next Australian tests, which immediately precede the opening race weekend.
Conditions on 23rd January were on the cold side, with a track temperature of around 17°C, and the track was dirty, particularly those sections that have been recently resurfaced. Mahias set a best time of 1’43”948, only a few tenths from the Jerez track record, while Okubo stopped the clock on 1’45”317. Young Razgatlioglu put in a fine performance, with a best of 1’41”001 placing him fourth at the end of the day, ahead of many factory riders.
Weather conditions were more favourable the day after (the track temperature even reached 30°C), as were track conditions, meaning that the Italian team’s riders and technicians could complete their respective work programmes. Despite not focusing on lap times, Mahias made significant improvement to round out the day as the second fastest Supersport rider with a time of 1’42”751. Okubo also improved on yesterday’s time, setting a best of 1’43”404. Toprak too took a good step forward and, thanks to a fastest time of 1’39”942, the Turk closed in fifth place overall.
Manuel Puccetti’s team will return to the track on 27 and 28 January for two further days of testing, this time at Portimao in Portugal.
Toprak Razgatlioglu: “I’m very pleased with how these two days have gone. I tried to get the best out of the 2018 bike and, though the track wasn’t in the best state, I was very fast and able to continuously improve. I immediately got back into a good rhythm and this is very important. Now we go to Portimao to complete our prep work ahead of the opening round in Australia”.
Hikari Okubo: “It’s all gone very well. I immediately found that good feeling with my bike again and tried many things that allowed me to be quicker with respect to our test here in November. We’ll complete the work at Portimao, but I’d say we’re already at a good point”.
Lucas Mahias: “Two very positive days. We focused on the setting of my bike and also tested many new solutions. Though we didn’t really concentrate on lap times, I was consistently fast and am very pleased with my bike and the work carried out by the team. Today, in the final stages, we found great bike balance, and we’ll start from there in the next test in Portugal”.
Source: Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Press Release