Testing for the 2016 World Superbike is underway, with Kawasaki and Crescent - now switched from Suzuki to Yamaha - taking to the track at Jerez for a two-day test starting Tuesday. The test marks Yamaha's return to World Superbikes for the first time since their departure at the end of 2011.
The press releases issued by Kawasaki and Yamaha appear below:
Yamaha WSBK Returns to the Track with Lowes and Guintoli
Yamaha Motor Europe's new pairing of Alex Lowes and Sylvain Guintoli will make their debut aboard the 2016 Yamaha YZF-R1 at the Circuito de Jerez in southern Spain tomorrow in the opening test of the Japanese marque's return to the World Superbike Championship.
The 'stealth-black' Yamaha race machines will feature Pata branding for the first time, with the squads additional partners and final 'Racing Blue' livery to be revealed in January.
Located on the south-west coast of Spain, approximately 90kms south of Seville, the initial test at the 4,423m Andalusian circuit will focus on the basics - getting both racers comfortable with the new YZF-R1, making initial rider position adjustments and achieving a base setting for the machine in its first appearance under the WSBK regulations. However, the forecast of heavy rain and storms may disrupt plans for the opening day.
Lowes and Guintoli will be on track at Jerez for a two-day test, commencing at 10:00hrs local time on Tuesday 3rd November before the newly-formed team travel to Aragon and then back to Jerez later this month for further evaluation.
"I'm really excited but a little apprehensive ahead of the first test tomorrow! I'm excited as it is my first chance to get on the Yamaha YZF-R1, but a little anxious to see what the new bike is like. It's obviously a really exciting project but the most important thing now is to understand where we are with the bike and learn the basics of riding a new machine - the different engine character which I've not been used to - and then from the first test just keep building up. It's a long time until the first race in Phillip Island at the end of February, so we have enough time to get comfy on the bike and for now it's just about having fun, learning the bike and getting up to speed with the new team and surroundings so we give ourselves the best opportunity come the start of the season."
"It's the first test so I think you can understand that I am very excited about it and very interested to discover the new YZF-R1! Obviously after the successful year for the YZF-R1, and a less successful year for me, I'm really looking forward to getting to grips with the bike, start working and see how it works within the World Superbike configurations. It's also nice for me to be back with some of these boys, it's been a few years now since I worked with them in 2009, so it will be great to get back together again and get down to business."
Rea And Sykes Take To Jerez For KRT Winter Test Two
2016 Kawasaki Racing Team riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes will take part in their first joint winter test session on 3 and 4 November, at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Spain. After Sykes had a very positive testing experience on his own recently at Motorland Aragon the entire team will now take its next step into the forthcoming FIM Superbike World Championship season, with the new and improved 2016 Ninja ZX-10R.
Rea, who was at home for the birth of his second son during the Motorland tests, is keen to get back into action after testing some 2016 parts at a one-day session at Jerez, immediately after winning the 2015 championship in September.
Sykes found real improvements in the 2016 material and machine set-up he tested in Motorland and is now heading to Jerez to make sure he can make the most of the second test on a busy KRT winter schedule.
Jerez is a particularly useful circuit to evaluate machines and parts as its 4.423km layout features a wide variety of corners and elevation changes. Its location in the south west of Spain usually provides the best weather in Europe during the winter months.
Kawasaki and the entire KRT squad will use their full winter test programme to accelerate the final development of the WorldSBK specification Ninja ZX-10R in readiness for the first round of the new season at the end of February in Australia. The race machine will be directly based on the new showroom model that was launched recently in Spain, which in itself features many ideas and design characteristics first developed in the white heat of WorldSBK racing.
Jonathan Rea stated: “I am really excited to get back onto the bike again. I started to test some new components on the bike in Jerez the day after the race in September and right there and then I had a good feeling with the direction things were going in. Speaking to some of the crew and KHI staff about the Motorland test last week they have moved the bike forward. The areas it has improved in should really help me a lot and I want to try the full potential. I am excited because Pere Riba, my crew chief, has worked really hard with the KHI engineers to make the 2016 bike really competitive for me. We will adopt our step-by-step philosophy again, get through the test programme and not get too excited because there is a lot of mileage and riding to be done before the first round in Phillip Island.”
Tom Sykes stated: “The KRT squad has got a quite heavy winter testing schedule, which is good. We are bound to work through our set-up again and in Jerez we have the added bonus of more new material that will be present on our bike for next year. We want to confirm our findings from the Motorland test last time out so we will try them again because we have a good timescale to work with. Jerez and Aragon are quite different racetracks so we will see how the behaviour and character of the bike is in Jerez. A same or similar result will confirm the very good results from the previous Motorland test and set us off in a good direction again for the rest of the winter.”
Guim Roda, Team Manager KRT, stated: “Our main idea is to continue the testing and good way of working with the parts we have received from KHI. It is the right period of the year to test many of the ideas that the team and the crew chiefs had in mind, to try and find new levels of performance. Testing on two different tracks means you can confirm the operation of the parts we have tried already and Jerez it is always good to work on to make these comparisons. We also need to fix and clarify some small points and details on order to decide the information to give to the team’s suppliers, so that we can start the new season in February with the right amount of the correct material. Jonathan will be with us this time after having had a chance to enjoy his private life and the birth of his son.”