First Phillip Island Test Approaches For KRT Riders
February 12, 2013
The whole Kawasaki Racing Team continues its build up to the start of the 2013 SBK season with
a private test on 14 and 15 February at Phillip Island in Australia, the venue of the first round.
For the official 2013 KRT riding duo of Loris Baz and Tom Sykes the first of two pre-race tests at the popular Australian circuit is the latest in a long list of winter test sessions.
Previous track outings in Spain, immediately after the end of the 2012 season and then more recently after the winter testing ban had been lifted, have provided the whole official Kawasaki SBK effort with valuable data and track time, and also great confidence after many positive results were obtained.
The intensity and focus at the PI tests will now turn from general preparations to more specific matters and how best to aim for wins and strong points scores when then the racing starts for real at the Australian circuit on 24 February.
After the private tests have concluded, there will be a short break before an official championship test on 18 and 19 February, with the first practice and qualifying action of round one beginning on Friday 22 February. Superpole qualifying, which was dominated so spectacularly by Tom and KRT in 2012, will come along on Saturday 23 and the two races themselves take place on Sunday 24.
Tom Sykes: “Honestly, I am happy and quite relaxed at the moment. I am looking forward to going to Australia; hopefully I will get a little bit of warmth through my bones. As always, I am looking forward to going racing. We have done some good winter testing and certainly found some improvements on the bike during that time. The bike also improved a lot after the start of the 2012 season, so knowing that I am very happy to start the 2013 season in Australia.”
Loris Baz: “The first Phillip Island test will be useful for me because I have never been there before. I am sure I am going to love the track because everybody loves it and I have seen some great races there on TV. I am sure this is going to be a useful test for me to learn the track and to keep working with the bike to see if we can make another little step forward that will be good for the race.”
Guim Roda, Team Manager: “The official tests, which happen just before the PI race weekend, only give us limited track time so we decided to do this private test at PI before then to maximise our preparations for the race. We have done a lot of good testing this winter – at Almeria, two times in Jerez and one in Motorland Aragon – which have been useful for our plans for the whole year. Now we can organise everything knowing what is working or not. We have a clear direction so we can continue on through the year and we are all feeling very positive. Now, at this first Australian test, we will just adapt the settings to the track to make sure we can start in the best possible way.