Brno The Go For Kawasaki Men

July 5, 2011

WSBK, Brno, Czech Republic, 5 July 2011 - One of the most popular and naturally sculpted circuits on the Superbike World Championship trail beckons Tom Sykes, Joan Lascorz and Chris Vermeulen this coming weekend - Brno in the Czech Republic.

The 5.403km circuit, which superseded the old closed road track that originally made the name Brno famous, has been a favourite of almost all riders in the Superbike class since it first appeared on the calendar. A mix of up and downhill sections, fast chicanes and big radius hairpins, Brno is also incredibly wide compared to most other circuits, allowing passing opportunities in several places, but with the overtaken rider usually having enough track left to make a counter attack at the exit.

Tom Sykes, currently 13th in the championship rankings on his Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike Ninja ZX-10R, is a real fan of the Brno layout and after making progress in recent races and a post race test at Motorland Aragon he is more than ready to go to work again. Finishes inside the top five places are what Tom is working towards and even expecting at every single meeting from now on.

For Joan Lascorz, in his first year of WSBK competition, there have been some highs and lows, but his direction of movement is very definitely upwards of late. Having scored two fifth places (at Donington and Motorland) he has already shown he can hold his own in arguably the toughest season in the modern era of the WSBK series. Joan is now only one place behind Tom in the rankings, after seven rounds.

Chris Vermeulen is another rider who holds Brno in high regard. The Aussie, frequently luckless with injuries and extended recovery periods recently, is improving his physical condition all the time. For him anything better then tenth will be a season best. Like his team-mates he has not had the chance to do even a single lap of Brno on the new 2011 machine, so expects a busy time in practice and qualifying.

A test session at Motorland Aragon after the previous round found improvements in the areas of rear suspension and chassis geometry. Advances in the general set-up and balance allowed the team to make successful long runs on the softer race tyres and still find good results, opening up more options to the riders in real race conditions.

In the Kawasaki Pedercini Team Roby Rolfo and Mark Aitchison have been fighting for their points while riding their ZX-10Rs. Rolfo has been scoring the more consistent points of the two, but Aitchison has already been inside the top ten, at the Assen round. Currently Roby is 17th ranked, Aitchison 20th and on the same points score as Vermeulen.

Tom Sykes: “I am very excited and looking forward to racing at Brno. It has a great layout. It is one of the best circuits we go to and I’m very hopeful that the new ZX-10R will work well. I have a strong, positive mindset and on the back of our recent results and latest tests at Aragon, hopefully we can stay nearer the front. I am looking for top five or six all weekend, I would be quite happy with that. The fact is that last time out we were more consistent in our pace and that is my aim again. If anything we can up our game even more in the races, and I am just hoping we can maximize things when using a slightly softer tyre. The plan is to be able to have at least the option of the softer or harder tyres for the races themselves.”

Joan Lascorz: “The feeling in Motorland was so good, especially when I did not get to test too much on that track before race weekend. I hope Brno will give me a good feeling from the beginning. Anyway, it will be new track with our new bike, like every race of this year, so let’s see what happens. Our post-race Motorland test was good and we tried out some new ideas we could not test in the races, and we have little more information to work on. Considering all the things that happened around me last year, and beginning of this year, we can say our job is not so bad so far. Of course my idea when I started in Superbikes was to stay closer to the top and fight for top five places more often, but I'm sure Kawasaki is working well and I'm making steps in a good direction. Let's see what happens in the next races.”

Chris Vermeulen: “Brno is a nice circuit, one of the best we go to, with some ups and downs, blind corners and it’s just a really enjoyable track to race on. My elbow is a bit inflamed but the good news is that it shows up as no damage on the scans. Given what you have to do on the bike it is quite hard on that part of the arm, but when I support it with tape it helps the muscle work better. The new bike should work well at Brno and one of the Kawasaki’s strongest points is the engine power. That can help going back up the hills at Brno. There are lots of chicanes there, but they are fast so you do not just go in and stop/start. You can pass in them, you can carry a lot of speed through them and overall Brno is a fun track.”