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Jerez WSBK test: Sykes makes ‘fundamental steps’ in ZX-10RR setup

Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes wrapped up his 2016 winter test programme at Jerez after making fundamental setup steps with the new ZX-10RR and new engine rules which have removed some of the inertia that more suits his point-and-squirt riding style.

All bikes on the WorldSBK grid must now have a generator attached to the crank and this will have compromised Sykes’ riding style somewhat, but crew chief Marcel Duinker believes the team have made significant progress.

“Jerez was more complex for us than the recent Aragon test. The bike is harder for Tom to manage because of his unique way of riding and we have had to compensate for this by improving the chassis performance. We made some very fundamental steps on the bike set-up, with some good and not so good results,” said Duinker.


“We have enough data to really study in the winter break and we will be able to bring all the good points together before we start testing again in January. We have a lot of information from the last five years, and three more tests before we go racing at Phillip Island.

Sykes added: “For sure we have still not hit the nail on the head but the good thing is we are doing a lot of trial and elimination. Even here, where I was not entirely happy with my feeling, we managed to put in good lap times. Both myself and Jonathan seem to be able to do consistent lap times, which is promising.

“I had a crash on Thursday that stopped me using my preferred machine but still we were able to continue testing. We know we can do what is required on whatever set-up we have, but now we are going to have a few weeks to relax, refresh and recharge the batteries. I am confident that with the information we now have we can put the jigsaw together in January and start testing again from there.”

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