Kawasaki World Superbike Riders Look for Success in Spain
April 2, 2008
After two intense long haul races at the start of the season Régis Laconi and Makoto Tamada return to Europe for the third round of the World Superbike Championship, at the 4.005km Valencia track.
Each PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse Team rider has had his share of ups and downs already this season, but after a recent two day official FGSport test at the Valencia circuit each rider gathered more information about their 2008 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R racebikes.
The most recent test allowed the team to test a new swingarm design, among many other upgrades and improvements, all of which form a natural part of turning an awesome road machine into a full-on racer, capable of competing on the biggest Superbike stage of all.
After the relatively fast and flowing circuits of Losail and Phillip Island, Valencia is a return to a typically slow and tight modern European track, with the circuit almost completely contained within a man-made stadium. Valencia’s track surface is particularly prone to unpredictable behaviour, meaning that despite the recent tests there will be work to do to make sure the riders start the races on Sunday 6 April with the correct machine settings and tyre choices.
At the Valencia tests, held between 13 and 14 March, Tamada made good progress with his new material but 11-time SBK race winner Laconi still feels he has to find the correct set-up with which to attack the twisty Ricardo Tormo circuit in race trim.
Makoto Tamada: "I definitely found the new swingarm an improvement at the recent tests, and we did some other good work. There are so many corner entries and exits each lap at Valencia that every improvement we get from the chassis and electronic system will be important in the races. The bike also seemed to work better with the tyres at the test so I feel we will go to Valencia in good shape."
Régis Laconi "I still have to work when we get to Spain to stop the chatter we experienced in the tests. It was better to find out what we need to improve in the tests rather than find them in qualifying, so I am sure we will be much more ready for the races on Sunday."