Kawasaki Ninja ZX Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

990 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Jerez Test MotoGP
Times: Day One
1. Loris Capirossi - Ducati Marlboro 1'40.910
2. Sete Gibernau - Ducati Marlboro 1'41.176
3. Shinya Nakano - Kawasaki Racing 1'41.477
4. Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda 1'41.499
5. Toni Elías - Fortuna Honda 1'41.680
6. Colin Edwards - Camel Yamaha 1'41.730
7. Carlos Checa - Tech 3 Yamaha 1'41.732
8. John Hopkins - Rizla Suzuki 1'41.740
9. Valentino Rossi - Camel Yamaha 1'41.861
10. Randy de Puniet - Kawasaki Racing 1'41.915


990 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Kawasaki Bounce Back As Nakano Goes Top Three At Jerez

10 Mar 2006

The Kawasaki Racing Team were back in action at Jerez today, just four days after the race transporter carrying their Ninja ZX-RR MotoGP bikes was completely destroyed in a road traffic accident on the way from Barcelona.

The bikes, which survived the crash undamaged, finally arrived at the Jerez circuit early on Thursday morning, and the Kawasaki mechanics have had to work flat out to ensure that each rider had his full complement of two bikes for this final pre-season test.

Shinya Nakano started today working with his crew on machine set-up for the technically demanding, 4.423 km, Circuito de Jerez, before moving on to evaluate a range of different tyres on the rear of his Ninja ZX-RR for Bridgestone.

The 28-year-old Japanese rider ended the opening day of testing with the third fastest lap time, despite being forced to finish early due to a mechanical problem with his number one machine.

As well as adapting to the demands of the Jerez circuit, Nakano has also had to familiarise himself with two new crew members, drafted in at short notice to temporarily replace the two mechanics injured in Monday's accident.

Jerome Galland and Christian Boudinot arrived in Jerez on Thursday afternoon and have been on a steep learning curve as they worked to familiarise themselves with Kawasaki's Ninja ZX-RR, under the guidance of Nakano's crew chief, Fiorenzo Fanali.

Severe toothache denied Randy de Puniet of much needed sleep ahead of today's test, and the 25-year-old Frenchman was still in some pain as he arrived this morning in the Kawasaki pit box.

De Puniet ran top six on the timesheet during the morning, but was forced to quit the test early when the toothache, and the lack of sleep the previous night, started to make it difficult for him to maintain concentration around the technical, and very fast, Jerez circuit.

De Puniet will visit a dentist this evening for treatment for his toothache, and is confident of improving his lap time significantly when he returns to the track tomorrow.

Shinya Nakano: #56 - 1'41.477 (53 Laps)
"It was strange without Jason and Josef in the box today, and I hope they will make a speedy recovery and that they return to the team very soon. Jerome and Christian, who joined the team at very short notice just yesterday, are fitting in well and both have done a great job. Our main focus today was again set-up, but also tyre testing with Bridgestone. Some of the rear tyres we have tested before, but we also tried new compounds here that worked well on the bike. It's always good to finish near the top of the time sheets during testing, but we still have some work to do. Tomorrow we will continue working with Bridgestone evaluating tyres, as well as running a race simulation in the afternoon."

Randy de Puniet: #17 - 1'41.915 (57 Laps)
"Last night I started suffering with a toothache and, as a result, only managed about two hours sleep all night. Today I still had a lot of pain from my tooth, to the point where it was affecting my concentration, and that's just not safe on a MotoGP bike. So, we finished testing early and I am now going straight to the dentist, who I hope will be able to do something for my toothache. Despite the problems, it's still been a productive day. I am happy with my lap time, as it's only a second behind the leaders, and I am confident there is still at least half a second more to come tomorrow."

Naoya Kaneko: Technical Manager
"With all four bikes in the race transporter that crashed on Monday, the team have worked flat out to make sure we were ready to start testing today. For most of the day we have concentrated on set-up for this circuit, but we've also done some tyre testing with Bridgestone, to identify a base compound for the opening Grand Prix here in three weeks time. Both Shinya and Randy finished the test early today; Shinya because of a mechanical problem with his number one bike, and Randy because of toothache, but tomorrow we will continue with a full day of testing."

990 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Shinya Nakano's New Lid Design

11 Mar 2006

Kawasaki's Shinya Nakano unveiled a brand new helmet design during the recent IRTA tests at Catalunya and, while the new look retains his trademark 'eyes', the 28-year-old Kawasaki rider has introduced some new elements to the design for this season.

Joining the now famous 'eyes' are three shuriken, or Japanese throwing stars, which appear on both sides and the rear of Nakano's distinctive Arai helmet.

"I have had the same basic helmet design for almost four years, so I thought it was time for a change," said Nakano. "The eyes are representative of my background with the SP Tadao racing team in Japan, and so they will always be a part of any helmet design for me, but I also wanted something a little different this year."

"And what could be better than Japanese throwing stars? After all, I ride a Ninja and I guess, outside of Japan, Ninja are best known for their stealth tactics and the use of such weapons as the shuriken."

"Bright blue and red may not have been the most suitable choice for the Ninja of the 15th century, but they stand out much better on the track than the more traditional black!"

And stealth certainly appears to be part of Nakano's armoury this season. The Kawasaki pilot has quietly got on with the important job of developing the all-new Ninja ZX-RR, while continuing to make regular appearances in the top three on the pre-season timesheets.

990 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jerez Day 2 - Shinya on top!!!

Top Ten

1. Shinya Nakano - Kawasaki Racing 1'40.047
2. Loris Capirossi - Ducati Marlboro 1'40.544
3. John Hopkins – Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1'40.791
4. Randy de Puniet - Kawasaki Racing 1'40.839
5. Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda 1'40.859
6. Valentino Rossi - Camel Yamaha 1'40.915
7. Carlos Checa - Tech 3 Yamaha 1'40.943
8. Sete Gibernau - Ducati Marlboro 1'40.964
9. Colin Edwards - Camel Yamaha 1'41.105
10. Chris Vermeulen – Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1'41.110

Link to report:

Shinya in action - did the new lid design help?

990 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Team Report Day 2

11 Mar 2006

Kawasaki's Shinya Nakano blitzed his way to the top of the timesheet at Jerez today, in front of Spanish race fans who'd turned out in their thousands to get a sneak preview of the MotoGP riders ahead of the opening race of the season at Jerez in three weeks time.

With race conditions likely to be similar to those of today, Nakano started his test programme working with Bridgestone to identify potential race tyres, before running a race distance simulation to confirm their initial selection early in the afternoon.

The 28-year-old Kawasaki rider also used the 27-lap endurance run to evaluate the latest revisions to the fuel injection system on his Ninja ZX-RR engine, designed to improve driveability around the technically demanding Jerez circuit.

Late in the afternoon session Nakano returned to the track with a qualifying tyre fitted to his Ninja ZX-RR, lapping the 4.432 km Jerez circuit more than half-a-second faster than his fifth place qualifying time from the race here last year, and almost the same distance ahead of his nearest rival today, Loris Capirossi.

Nakano declared himself happy with today's performance, but still keen to see further improvements during tomorrow's final day of testing.

Hot on Nakano's heels was his Kawasaki teammate, Randy de Puniet, who set the fourth fastest time today, despite still suffering with the toothache that caused him so many problems during the opening day at Jerez yesterday.

De Puniet, who was running today on a slightly older specification engine than Nakano, started with tyre testing for Bridgestone, working his way through a number of different compounds and profiles on the rear of his Ninja ZX-RR.

The 25-year-old Frenchman also evaluated different fuel injection and engine management settings, in a bid to better control the bike when hard on the throttle out of the turns.

De Puniet will run a race simulation tomorrow afternoon, after his endurance run today was cut short after just 24 laps due to problems with rear traction on his Ninja ZX-RR.

Shinya Nakano: 1st - 1'40.047 (70 Laps)
'It's been a hard day today, because we've been testing specifically for the race here in three weeks time, so it was good to finish with the fastest time. This morning we tested quite a few tyres from Bridgestone and then in the early part of the afternoon we ran a 27-lap race simulation to confirm tyre choice for the race, when we think conditions will be fairly similar. Late in the session we put a qualifying tyre in the bike to test, and it was on this tyre that I set the fastest time of the day. In the new Ninja ZX-RR we have a very competitive package, and I'm confident that we will unlock more of the bike's potential in the future, but for now we have found a combination of engine performance, chassis settings and tyres that, together, suit the characteristics of the Jerez circuit very well. We still have some decisions to make about our race tyre selection, so we will continue with tyre testing tomorrow.'

Randy de Puniet: 4th - 1'40.839 (89 Laps)
'If someone had told me back in October that I'd finish the second day of the Jerez IRTA test fourth fastest, I would not have believed them. I feel really comfortable on the bike and it's working well here in Jerez, just as it has at all the pre-season tests. I still had some pain from my tooth, but it's more of a dull ache today and it wasn't such a distraction on the bike. We've covered a lot of ground today, made some more improvements to the bike, and I'm happy with my lap time. Tomorrow we hope to test the same specification engine as Shinya, but it depends on whether the parts get here in time; they are stuck in Madrid at the moment I understand. Either way, new parts or not, I hope we can continue to improve, both the bike and my lap time, during tomorrow's final day of testing.'

Harald Eckl: Team Principal
'I'm sure that many people seeing Shinya's name at the top of the timesheet, and Randy's just three places further back, will think that it's some kind of miracle given our results over the past three years. In reality, our performance today is a direct result of all the hard work put in by Kawasaki, the team, the riders and also Bridgestone during winter testing. I hope that we will be able to carry this momentum into the first race and come away with a good result, because there is no better way to start the season.'

990 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Last day of Jerez Test

Jerez Test – MotoGP
Times: Day 3

1. Loris Capirossi - Ducati Marlboro 1'39.411
2. Sete Gibernau - Ducati Marlboro 1'39.663
3. Shinya Nakano - Kawasaki Racing 1'40.354 :clap
4. Dani Pedrosa - Repsol Honda 1'40.416
5. Randy de Puniet - Kawasaki Racing 1'40.468 :grin
6. Nicky Hayden - Repsol Honda 1'40.570
7. Colin Edwards - Camel Yamaha 1'40.721
8. Toni Elías - Fortuna Honda 1'40.732
9. Chris Vermeulen - Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 1'40.750
10. Valentino Rossi - Camel Yamaha 1'40.907

Full report:

990 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Team report - post test

12 Mar 2006

Shinya Nakano again proved the competitiveness of Kawasaki's all-new Ninja ZX-RR, by finishing with the third fastest time overall, as the final day of the IRTA test at Jerez saw a dramatic increase in pace by the frontrunners.

Nakano was closely followed by his Kawasaki teammate, Randy de Puniet, who waited until the closing stages before putting in a flying lap that saw him jump up the timesheet to finish an impressive fifth fastest.

Conditions were perfect at Jerez today, with warm and sunny weather greeting the teams and thousands of fans, as they arrived at the Jerez circuit for the final MotoGP pre-season test before the championship gets underway in two weeks time.

With tyre choice at Jerez critical, Nakano again started his test schedule working together with the Bridgestone technicians to confirm his choice of potential race tyres for the opening round of the season.

The 28-year-old Japanese rider also evaluated some small changes to the fuel injection system on his Ninja ZX-RR, before trying two different qualifying tyres in the last 30 minutes of the test.

On his second run on a qualifier, and with just five minutes of the test remaining, Nakano shaved over half-a-second off the lap record, to finish this final test with the third fastest time overall.

De Puniet used this morning's test session to evaluate different suspension options on his Ninja ZX-RR, but switched back to his previous set-up after struggling to match his pace from yesterday.

The 25-year-old Frenchman lapped consistently throughout the afternoon, bettering his previous best time on race tyres at the end of his final ten-lap run.

Like his teammate, de Puniet waited until the very end of the test before trying two different qualifying tyres, with his final flying lap elevating him to a position on the timesheet that few expected the MotoGP rookie to achieve in such a short space of time.

The Jerez IRTA test brings to a conclusion an exhausting series of winter tests for the Kawasaki Racing Team, the intensity of which has been magnified with the introduction of the all-new Ninja ZX-RR at Valencia back in November last year.

During the course of the winter the Kawasaki Racing Team have travelled three times to the Sepang circuit in Malaysia, and once to Phillip Island in Australia, to test with regular Grand Prix riders Nakano and de Puniet.

Almost simultaneously development tests have been ongoing in Japan, with former 250GP rider Naoki Matsudo shouldering the testing duties. European Test and Development rider, Olivier Jacque, has also completed two test sessions at the Doha circuit in Qatar since the MotoGP testing ban ended in January.

The results of this intensive test schedule have been clearly seen during the IRTA tests at Catalunya and Jerez, with the latest version of Kawasaki's Ninja ZX-RR providing Nakano and de Puniet with a competitive package that is capable of running consistently in the top six on race tyres.

After three days of testing and fine-tuning, both Kawasaki riders leave Jerez confident that, when they return for the opening race of the season in just two weeks time, they'll be able to run at the front of the race, with a podium finish a more realistic prospect than at this same race 12 months ago.

Shinya Nakano: 3rd - 1'39.776 (82 Laps)
"Yesterday I felt like we still needed to take another step forward, so today we spent a lot of time looking for the last small improvements from the suspension, the fuel injection system and also from the tyres. I'm happy to say we found it, but then everyone else improved towards the end of the test, so we now need to make another small step during practice and qualifying for the opening race here. We know that some of the guys who didn't have such a good test here will be quick to improve once the season starts, so we can't afford to rest on our laurels. Having said that, after such a successful test schedule over the past months, we will arrive at the first race with higher expectations than we have had in the past, and I'm confident that, in the 2006 Ninja ZX-RR, we have a package that will enable me to improve upon my fifth place in this race last year."

Randy de Puniet: 5th - 1'40.468 (95 Laps)
"Today was quite hard. This morning we tried some different suspension components and settings on the bike, but it wasn't so easy to find a good feeling with the bike set-up this way, even after 55 laps. In the afternoon we switched back to the previous set-up and that definitely improved things. I managed to improve my lap time on race tyres, and my times were pretty consistent throughout. At the end of the day I tried two different qualifying tyres, and again I was able to improve my time from yesterday. I'm happy to finish fifth fastest today, but I know that I still have a lot of work to do this season; learning the circuits again on a MotoGP bike, and also learning how best to manage the race. The whole team have done a great job helping me adapt to the Ninja ZX-RR during testing, and I'm looking forward to returning to Jerez for my first MotoGP race, where I hope I can repay all their hard work with a good result."

Harald Eckl: Team Principal
"What can I say, other than that we are ready to go! Both the team and the riders are in excellent shape for the start of the 2006 season. We've done our homework, confirmed everything during a successful winter test schedule, and now we're ready to start racing. I'm looking forward to travelling back to Jerez for the first race, and I'm confident that the team will acquit themselves well."
1 - 7 of 7 Posts