Kawasaki Racing newcomer Haslam completes initial WorldSBK test

British champion acquaints himself with WorldSBK-spec Ninja ZX-10RR.

Image: Supplied,

Kawasaki Racing Team’s newly-signed athlete Leon Haslam has completed his first test aboard the 2019 Ninja ZX-10RR at Aragon, joining teammate and four-time world champion Jonathan Rea.

The British Superbike champion worked between two base settings on his WorldSBK-spec machines, making one clear choice of direction before losing some track time due to a minor technical issue just after lunch.

Setting a best-time of 1m51.479s, Haslam was almost two seconds adrift of Rea’s best-time in his first outing, with the test ultimately being cut short ahead of day two commencing with wet weather preventing any further riding.

“The test was positive and I am getting to know all the guys in the team,” said Haslam. “We missed some track time on the opening day, but even then it could have not gone any better. We got quicker each time we went out and the pace was quite competitive, considering we were not looking for that.

“We were just evaluating and understanding things. We are taking it step-by-step and we have another two days at Jerez to test again before the winter break. So far, so good.”

Haslam’s crew chief Marcel Duinker commented: “I was very happy and confident from the very beginning of the tests. We have a BSB champion in our house with a lot of experience on different bikes, different championships and different tyres. Day one went very well. We had two different bike set-ups to put us in the correct direction for chassis development.

“He clearly chose one of them and with some minor changes towards the end of day one, Leon was in the ballpark with our closest competition, who had won several races in the past few years. So from this point of view I am very happy, but unfortunately day two was wet. After this single day on track and with the positive results, we are confident we will continue doing well in Jerez.”

The Kawasaki Racing Team will continue testing next weekend at Jerez in Spain for the final outing of the year.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au

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