The latest test for the new look ‘Kawasaki Racing Team Suzuka 8 Hours’ project was held between 25 and 26 June. The team is an official KHI set-up overall, with more KRT input and staff from the WorldSBK programme than in previous years.
The third rider in the 2019 team, Jonathan Rea, was not present at this test but Leon and Toprak completed their allotted tasks with relish and set strong times along the way.
Haslam in particular was pleased with his long runs on a single set of tyres, which simulate the sessions each rider will undertake in real race conditions during the intense heat of the Japanese summer. Although the test was held in high temperatures the number 11 Kawasaki was running a new look KRT ‘winter test’ graphics design.
This test was a more novel experience for Razgatlioglu than Haslam, who had already tested at Suzuka with Rea recently. Toprak was pleased with his pace overall but feels he can make improvements in the final few laps of each session.
Leon Haslam, stated: “We have just finished day two at Suzuka, after half a day of riding yesterday because we travelled from Misano. It was pretty good and we got to try a few more things with the chassis and overall package. Toprak and I did race simulations this afternoon and my one was one of the quickest I have done here, which was positive. There are still a few areas we are working on but that was a good day and a half of riding. I am looking forward to some more track time in practice before it all kicks off.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu, stated: “It worked out well but his was quite a difficult test for me because although I came to Suzuka to race in JSB, the bike was very different to this one. The last two days I tried some long runs over 26 laps. I felt some chatter in the later laps. The times of all the riders were similar because of the hot conditions, which limited tyre grip for all the riders. This test was very important, as I needed to adapt myself to the bike. It was a good test; I am happy and ready for the race. But right now I am tired!”