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18 Helmikuu 2024

Final Pre-Season Test For KRT

KRT riders Alex Lowes and Axel Bassani will soon take part in a final one day pre-season test at Phillip Island, on Tuesday 20 February 2024. A two day test was planned but logistical issues with vital material arriving from Europe has seen the available WorldSBK track time condensed into a single day, not spread between two.

A delay in the arrival of the the WorldSBK spec tyres all the teams are required to use means that only the WorldSSP Championship teams will test on Monday 19 March, with the WorldSBK tyres now scheduled to arrive in Australia that same day. Hence the organisers were forced to change the test plan from four WorldSBK sessions spread over two days, to all the action taking place on Tuesday.

The new look KRT squad, featuring some personnel and technical changes introduced before the winter tests started at the end of last year, will also find a new track surface to ride on during this final pre-season test. The Phillip Island circuit has had a recent resurfacing along its entire 4.445km length, which will probably lead to a much gripper surface in general.

Phillip Island is already well-know for being an extreme test of tyres on the left hand side. With the introduction of the new asphalt and an expected higher level of grip in every sector as a result, one regular point of Phillip Island focus for the KRT technicians has now become even more critical.

This test will be the first chance for Bassani to ride his Ninja ZX-10RR at this particular track. Lowes knows the circuit and his machine very well, having won a race here with Kawasaki in the 2020 season.

After what is sure to be an intense final day of pre-season track action, the first round itself starts on 23 February and will conclude on Sunday 25 February. As has been the format for several seasons there will be three WorldSBK races in all, one on Saturday and two on Sunday.

Alex Lowes, stated: “I am looking forward to this final pre-season test. They have resurfaced the track at Phillip Island. As always when it is completely new the tarmac is very dark, which normally means that the track temperature is a bit higher. In general, the stones in the track are rougher when the track is new and tyre life - based on the experience we have - is normally worse. So this is something we need to consider in what is now a one-day test. We just need to see how the tyres will perform over race distance. That is always the most important thing at Phillip Island - having good speed on used tyres. This year it will be even more important.”

Axel Bassani, stated: “We will finally start the real season soon and we have arrived in Australia to ride on new tarmac at Phillip Island. We will see how it works. I only want to see how the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR works here, because my last time was on a different bike, so now I have to see how much it is different. For the moment I am relaxed and only want to see what happens in this test, rather than expect to find one thing or another. The one day of testing now will be tougher. Before it was two days - two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon. Now it is eight hours all day, four hours in the morning and four in the afternoon. So you have to do all the work in one day. It is not easy to do but it is the same for everyone.”

Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: “The pre-season PI test has become, over the years, a classic way to start the season. It is the open door of the new season. It the very first time that everybody can see the ‘real tools’ on track from all the manufacturers and nobody hides anything. It is, of course, still a test session and a time to check items, but it is also to help us prepare for the race weekend itself. The new track surface will give us hard job to do, for sure. We arrive here on the limit of the steps we have made, so not all things have been checked and confirmed, but we will try to be as ready as possible for the races. From the marketing side, this is the first time the world will see the latest KRT designs on track. DWO, the championship organisers, have completed a photoshoot here to publicise the new image during the season. I hope we can be a part of some nice action and let the fans enjoy the KRT colours in 2024.”

Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) is ready to make his final day of pre-season preparations for the opening round at Phillip Island, riding a full-spec Ninja ZX-10RR machine prepared directly by KRT.