Kawasaki Puccetti Racing has concluded a two-day test at the Angel Nieto Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Spain as it continues its preparations for the Supersport and Superbike World Championships, which will get underway in Australia on 24 February.
Manuel Puccetti’s team worked intensely over the two days at the Andalusian track with Supersport rider Can Oncu and Superbike rider Tom Sykes. The favourable weather (in the afternoon), sunny skies and dry track allowed the riders and their technicians to complete the full programme of work they had scheduled.
Together with his technical staff, Can Oncu got through a great deal of tasks, riding the four ZX-6R machines that the team brought to Jerez. He completed 48 laps on day one, the fastest of which in 1’42”466. Can improved further on day two, stopping the clock on 1’41”858, just 0.083 shy of the fastest lap.
2013 Superbike World Champion Tom Sykes also had his work cut out for him, considering he does not yet really know his team and their ZX-10RR. On the first of the two days, the Englishman completed 39 laps of the track and set a best time of 1’40”882. The following day, Sykes suffered a small crash in the final stages but slightly improved on his best overall time by recording a 1’40”750.
Kawasaki Puccetti Racing will now travel on to Portimão in Portugal where it will complete another two-day test on 31 January and 1 February.
“I’m pleased with how these tests have gone. The Supersport team has worked hard and shown real commitment, which Oncu repaid by setting our best ever lap time at Jerez. We tested some important updates on Kawasaki’s behalf and saw some significant improvement. The Superbike team tested many things but could only do so during the warmest hours of the day. The limited time meant that Sykes and his technicians preferred to focus on pace and didn’t carry out a time attack. We’ll continue to test at Portimão, where we’ll aim to complete our work programme in order to be ready for round one in Australia”.
“We shouldn’t limit ourselves to looking at times on the screen but should consider the amount of work we’ve got through here, evaluating all the data we collected. We’re still far from where we want to be of course, but these tests were useful in helping us identify our strengths and weaknesses. We made some small mistakes, and I crashed in the final stages, but all this has helped us to better understand our bike. The team has worked hard, we modified many things, and we’ll continue to do so at Portimão. My feeling with the team and bike has improved a great deal that’s for sure, and that was one of the goals we’d set ourselves for this Jerez test.”
“I’m satisfied with what we’ve done over the last two days here at Jerez. We’ve tested many different things which have improved my bike. We’ve taken a good step forward and will work to find the little we still need to be ready for the start of the championship once we get to Portimão. I can’t wait to compete in Australia and exploit all the work my team has done as well as the heightened potential of the bike.”