The two day MotorLand test planned for this week has seen the first session largely disrupted by high winds, with conditions leaving riders in the pits for a good part of the day. The two KRT riders of Rea and Sykes, who were planning on using the test to confirm their engine configuration for the start of the season, chose to stay off track and wait for a hopeful improvement in the weather on Day 2.
Pedercini riders Sylvain Barrier and Saeed Al Sulaiti did however manage some laps on their Kawasakis, braving the conditions to register some laptimes.
“Today’s test wasn’t very useful from a technical perspective. I managed very few laps and we couldn’t try any different set ups because it was difficult to even stay on the track.”
Frenchman Barrier explained.
Teammate Al Sulaiti was a little more positive:
“At least I managed a few laps. For me it’s important just to be on the bike and get some kilometers under my belt. Today it was very cold and any set up data would be almost useless because the conditions didn’t allow us to go fast enough. There’s a lot of work to do but I know that with the support of my team I can achieve everything I’m aiming for in WorldSBK.”
Sharing the track with the Kawasaki teams was Milwaukee BMW, intending on using the valuable track time to make further progress before the final preseason test in Phillip Island. Riders Josh Brookes and Karel Abraham both went out on track and found some positives were gained.
“Despite the wind, today was very useful for me. I’ve never been to the circuit before and I’ve done a lot of laps today, so I’m confident I know the track well enough now so that that won’t be an excuse come the race. If I’m not fast enough then, it’s not because I didn’t know the track. The wind makes it hard to be sure but I get the feeling that this track has flagged up a few more issues with the bike than in Jerez. There’s a little bit more to be studied here than what we thought was so clear at Jerez. I’m hoping the wind will be gone more tomorrow.”
Karel Abraham agreed the time had been a worthwhile investment:
“I think today was a really important day for us because we found out a lot of new things and a lot of different set ups, especially with the electronics. But at the same time, unfortunately only with the electronics, or mainly with them, because it was so windy. We could probably go faster than today by even a few seconds, but with that wind you never know when you’re going to fall off. Hopefully for Day 2 the weather will be better.”
The test continues with one more day for the teams to profit from before the freight is packed up for Phillip Island for the February 22-23 test prior to the otpening round from February 26-28.
Entry to the 2016 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship, Yamaha Finance round, Phillip Island from Feb 26-28 costs $115* for a three-day pass, $80* for a Sunday only pass, while kids 15 and under are free**. On circuit camping is just $100* for four nights, with kids 15 and under free** Visit www.ticketek.com.au for tickets; or www.worldsbk.com.au for info.
* Advance ticket prices only, delivery and processing fees may apply.
**Children must be accompanied by a paying adult