Lascorz Makes Himself At Home
March 31, 2009
Spaniard Joan Lascorz approaches his home round at Valencia in good spirits for two good reasons, while memories of past Valencia glories will also be a boost for his team-mate Katsuaki Fujiwara.
Last year Lascorz scored his first WSS class victory at Valencia, and after a strong showing in recent tests there, on his continually developing 2009 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, he is once more aiming high at his home race.
For the more experienced Fujiwara, Valencia has also been a successful venue, with a win in 2003 one of a total of four podium finishes taken by the popular Japanese at this tight and challenging 4.005km circuit.
With their new machine still in its early stages of development this year, the official Kawasaki duo were particularly happy to test the latest range of changes and settings on Wednesday and Thursday last week, in particular the new engine specifications arrived at by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and its technical partner, Akira.
Lascorz's best Valencia testing time improved on last year’s best qualifying pace, while Fujiwara set a time well under his own lap record of 1’37.570, set in the 2007 season. Race simulations during last week’s test also brought about positive results, with each rider consistently inside the 1’37 barrier.
Joan Lascorz: “We tried out a lot of different things during the Valencia test, in the front forks, with the overall chassis geometry and some new engine developments. We still have some work to do but we were able to set fast lap times. We reached a good compromise in our set-up and we were able to try out different tyres as well. We went the wrong way with our set-up at Qatar in the last race weekend because we did not have the chance to test this new bike there before practice. Hopefully our Valencia test will allow us to improve this weekend.”
Katsuaki Fujiwara: “We had a chance to use new engine developments and I prefer one spec of engine, Joan the other one, so now we will work out how to maximise the advantages of both. We also tried out some clutch modifications to reduce rear-end chatter and it helped. The most important thing is that our race simulations were fast and consistent, so hopefully we can find the same conditions on raceday. I like Valencia, it suits my riding style, so I hope we can have a really good result there.”