Advances in the overall set-up were found in the two days of testing in Italy as Kawasaki’s official World Superbike squad continued to look for improvements that Sykes and Vermeulen can use to collect more points through the season.
The riders and the team hope that some of the new Pirelli tires they tested at Imola will make it to the Brno race weekend, between 9 and 11 July, particularly as this is a circuit each rider enjoys competing at.
Brno is a flowing 5.403 km (3.13 miles) circuit, with the long and fast chicanes allowing the riders to keep up a rhythm through the entire lap. Changes of elevation and camber abound, with the final drag up a steep hill into the final chicane a true test of engine power and gearing choices. A classic of late 20th century track design, Brno is a popular venue, located right in the heart of the Czech countryside, yet not far from the city that bears the same name.
On the entry to the Brno weekend, Sykes is 16th in the championship standings, Vermeulen 19th. Tom’s best result so far has been a fine fifth place finish at Monza; Chris has a season best of 13th to aim to beat this weekend, after a season affected by a knee injury.
Tom Sykes: “We did a lot of work at the Imola tests and we know what we should be working on, and in which direction. We were planning to stop earlier in those tests but we just keep working to the end. Overall I am reasonably happy with the way we will enter the Brno round. It should be a good place for us now so we need to start well, get a good set-up as soon as possible and work round about that. We were more consistent at the tests and that will be needed at Brno.”
Chris Vermeulen: “We should get some new tyres for Brno and hope we do because we found a good one in testing. Brno is full of fast esses and it’s one of those circuits where if you get one corner right you should be able to get all of the corners right. There are so many similar corners on the racetrack. It’s a good layout, I enjoy racing there, and so we should be able to get some good results.”
Kawasaki Provec Motocard.com World Supersport team
Kawasaki Provec Motocard.com's...
Kawasaki Provec Motocard.com's Joan Lascorz sits third in the World Supersport Championship, only 13 off the lead.
Brno traditionally a hot and testing environment, a fact not lost on Joan Lascorz and Katsuaki Fujiwara as they enter the ninth round of the WSBK World Supersport season.
Katsuaki is largely recovered from a nasty bout of appendicitis that prevented him from racing at Misano last time out, and he is ready for his final medical checks to be carried out before he takes to the track in the Czech Republic.
Joan is ready and hopefully able to notch up another win in WSS, having secured victory in Valencia, and podiums in all but one WSS race so far in 2010.
A recent test for Joan at Imola was a good springboard close to the Brno race weekend, with the Provec Motocard.com team finding advances in suspension front and rear. Brno has some similarities to Imola, but the track surface in the Czech Republic is much smoother, and there are more geometric corners than the different shapes and sizes found in Imola.
As the team’s recent record shows, no matter the track, the Ninja ZX-6R has been able to perform and score heavily, and Joan is ready to make up more ground in the championship chase. He is currently third, only 13 points from the lead, and ten points from second.
Katsuaki is still inside the top ten despite losing another points scoring chance due to his illness.
Eleventh overall is the Kawasaki Lorenzini by Leoni Ninja ZX-6R of 2002 World Champion Fabien Foret, a rider who is looking to score his first podium of the year.
Joan Lascorz: “I am completely ready for Brno, especially after a positive test at Imola where we found some good developments with the machine and the set-up. After the Imola tests I went to the Montmelo GP, to see some friends, but I have still been working hard to get ready for the Czech race. We have a lot of races left and the championship is very tight, so we have to concentrate to beat the other riders in the races.”
Katsuaki Fujiwara: “It was a bad surprise to have suddenly taken ill before the last round in Italy, but I feel much better now. I will have to take an exam from the doctor on Wednesday but I have been feeling stronger every day. I am sorry I also missed the test at Imola but the team did very good work there, so I am looking forward to riding the bike again.”