Tom Sykes and the official Kawasaki Racing Team have successfully completed their first three-day winter test in readiness for the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship campaign.
With wet weather spoiling the first two days, Tom Sykes spent the last day testing new parts and completed 72 laps on the new ZX-10R around the 5.077km circuit in the north of Spain.
Sykes reported significant improvements in the braking stability and engine performance of the 2016 WorldSBK spec race machine around Motorland, and set a best lap time of 1’50.6, a mark which he matched with some consistency throughout.
Sykes, who finished third in the 2015 championship, said: “We are heading back in a good direction to something we know. We ironed out some teething problems and got a general feel for things on the opening days and then today, when the sun was out from start to finish, we got our heads down and worked through a whole book of tricks. The team worked overtime today – parts in, parts out – all day. They all worked really efficiently and kept us on track for the maximum time possible. The overall performance of the Ninja ZX-10R at these tests is something that excites me. Overall the lap times were really consistent. The feeling was easier to achieve than I have been used to. It is still early days but this has definitely been a good start to our winter test programme.”
The team now heads right across Spain to test at the Andalusia circuit of Jerez de La Frontera, between 3 and 4 November – this time with new World Champion Jonathan Rea (KRT) joining in testing duties after the recent birth of his second child meant he missed the first test at Motorland Aragon.