Ups And Downs For Top Ninja ZX-10R Riders

June 19, 2011

WSBK, Motorland Aragon, Spain, 19 June 2011 - Joan Lascorz celebrated the first race meeting at his home circuit of Aragon with a seventh and a fifth place, his best combined points score of the season so far.

Joan matched his personal best individual race score of fifth in race two, a 20-lap contest that was held in much warmer conditions than race one. Also well in the mix was fast man in practice and qualifying Tom Sykes, who started from fifth place on the grid and took fifth in race one.

He was to slip off and be unable to restart in race two, but he was pushing hard for his second strong result at the culmination of a race weekend where more progress was made with the set-up and real race performance of the new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R.

Chris Vermeulen also found his first race meeting at the impressive new WSBK facility of Motorland Aragon a game of two contrasting halves. He scored 12th in race one despite losing many places in the early laps, then found his race two set-up far from ideal in the much hotter mid afternoon conditions, ending up 14th but still in the points scoring places.

In the championship, Tom is 13th, Lascorz 14th (only three points behind) and Chris is 19th.

After an intense weekend at Aragon the work rate of the official Kawasaki team shows no let-up, as the squad will test with all three riders at Motorland tomorrow, Monday 20th June.

For the Pedercini Team Kawasaki riders, raceday was an opportunity to score more points, with Roby Rolfo 14th then 13th, and Mark Aitchison 15th and 12th.

Brno is the next race venue for all the WSBK classes, with track action held between July 8 and July 10.

Tom Sykes: “Again there are some positives and negatives but I am going to ignore the latter. The positive side is that we have been top five all weekend, and in race one, and in race two I went down but we were still racing in a good position. Unfortunately I went down, but I went down trying. We came away with good levels of performance during a dry weekend, which is another big positive. We will get a test in Aragon to be ready for the Brno race, and we have a lot to test. Maybe too much for one day, so we’ll prioritise things and make it count. Brno is a fantastic circuit that I love and hopefully the new Ninja ZX-10R will work well there as well.”

Joan Lascorz: “I was fifth in race two and the same position I took at Donington. Very good, but I was much closer to the top positions here. We had some laps of testing but not many so this was really a new circuit for me in qualifying, so we did a good job. I like it but it is not easy. My crew chief gave me a good setting for the second race, and persuaded me not to go for the softer rear tyre, so I used the same B tyre in each race. It was a good decision in race two. The tyre was destroyed in race one, more than Tom’s but this race it looks better. We were only five seconds from the podium in race two, and not only me, Tom was also very fast this weekend.”

Chris Vermeulen: “Race one was so bad, got quite a good start but then boxed in on the first lap, and I actually went back to last place. But we passed quite a few of them and our pace was quite good in he middle of the race same as that of the fifth to seventh place guys. I managed to get up to 12th and in the last couple of laps the tyres dropped off, but we still managed to pass Rolfo. In race two our set-up and tyre choice was exactly the same and I had no grip from the start, so I was riding along two seconds a lap slower in the hot conditions. It was frustrating when you know the package under you can do to do it but for some reason we were unable to do it. ”