KAWASAKI CONTINUES DEVELOPMENT AT MISANO Kawasaki's John Hopkins and Anthony West returned to the Misano circuit today for a one-day post-race test, to continue development of their upgraded Ninja ZX-RR race machines. Hopkins was keen to make...
KAWASAKI CONTINUES DEVELOPMENT AT MISANO
Kawasaki's John Hopkins and Anthony West returned to the Misano circuit today for a one-day post-race test, to continue development of their upgraded Ninja ZX-RR race machines.
Hopkins was keen to make up for track time lost recently to his Assen and Brno injuries, and spent the five hours on track running through an extensive test programme, concentrating particularly on improving the front-end stability of his machine.
The 25-year-old Anglo-American worked mainly on enhancing his set-up to accommodate a newer specification Bridgestone front tyre option that many of the MotoGP front-runners now use. This brought a new direction for the team, but with only a short time out on track today, he will not be able to add it to his tyre allocation without further set-up development of his Ninja ZX-RR. The Kawasaki pilot spent the last few hours refining the chassis setting of his machine using his current tyre options, and ended the day confident of improvements.
West used the time on track to eradicate the front-end problems that have hampered his progress at this circuit. The 27-year-old Australian worked closely with his crew to test various different chassis components, and, although he has not managed to find a complete solution to the confidence issues that have stopped him from pushing the front of his Ninja ZX-RR harder, he has made significant steps forward in set-up.
Along with the changes to his chassis set-up, West also tested different tyre options and found an improvement in the agility of his machine. The Kawasaki pilot noted an increased amount of front-end grip into the turns, which has enabled to achieve a better lap time than during the race weekend.
John Hopkins - #21: 69 Laps - 1'35.879
"Today we had a lot of work to do as I've missed so much time on track recently. Our focus was mainly on the front-end of the machine, and we have refined our setting from this weekend by changing the way the chassis is set up. We also started work on using a Bridgestone front tyre option that both Valentino (Rossi) and Casey (Stoner) use. This meant we had to alter the bike a lot, but we are now the only team using the old type of tyre, basically because we've not had any chance to test. This new specification tyre is definitely the future for us, but unfortunately it can't be in my allocation until we're completely happy with the way the machine handles with it. I'm pleased with the results of today's test, but still have a lot of catching up to do with the upgraded bike. I'm really excited about Indianapolis, particularly as it's my home round, and we'll be looking to achieve strong results there."
Anthony West - #13: 76 Laps - 1'36.101
"We've basically spent the test time today trying to improve the feedback from the front-end of the bike. We also tried a different swing-arm, but this didn't really make any significant difference for us. We have some more direction with how we can move forward with the front-end troubles and I felt a lot more confident going into the turns, which resulted in a quicker lap time than we managed in the race. We also evaluated a few different Bridgestone tyre options, and the conclusion is positive, but we still have more work to do. I'm looking forward to Indianapolis, particularly because it's an even field as no-one has previous track experience there, and we'll be looking to gain a strong finish."
Kaneko - Kawasaki Technical Manager
"It's been a useful day testing for us here at Misano. With John we spent most of the day using different tyre options and altered his machine set-up, which has been an improvement over the lap times we could achieve at the weekend. Anthony tested some different chassis components and we've been trying to improve our package to make it easier for him to turn his machine. Overall it's been a positive test, but we still have a lot of development to do over the next few races."