Kawasaki Racing Team
KAWASAKI RACING TEAM DEVELOPMENT TEST
29 AUGUST 2005
PERFORMANCE BOOST FROM REVISED NINJA ZX-RR ENGINE
Following their points scoring finishes in yesterday's Czech Grand Prix Kawasaki
riders, Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann, were back on track at the Brno circuit
today, to continue the development of Kawasaki's Ninja ZX-RR MotoGP machine.
For Nakano, the aim of today's test was to evaluate the latest version of
Kawasaki's 990cc, inline four-cylinder Ninja ZX-RR engine, comparing it during
back-to-back tests with the bike that the Japanese rider took to twelfth place
in yesterday's race.
With more revs and improved top end power from the revised engine, Nakano was
able to match his lap times from yesterday's race, circulating the 5.4km Brno
circuit today with a best time of 1'59.6s.
While his Japanese teammate concentrated on the engine, Hofmann's test schedule
focussed on tyre testing with Bridgestone and the evaluation of revised chassis
components on his Ninja ZX-RR.
The 25-year-old German rider tested a new specification front fork from Φhlins,
which both Kawasaki riders have now confirmed improves stability of the Ninja
ZX-RR under braking.
Hofmann also tested new carbon brakes from Brembo, designed to offer more
consistent operation and improved durability under extreme high temperatures.
The Kawasaki pilot then completed his test schedule with two endurance runs for
Bridgestone, using rear tyres with the same profile and construction - although
with different compounds - to the tyre that took Loris Capirossi to a podium
finish in yesterday's Czech Grand Prix.
Nakano will continue evaluation of the latest specification Ninja ZX-RR engine
tomorrow, together with a revised exhaust system from Akrapovic. With near
perfect test conditions at the Brno circuit today, Hofmann was able to complete
his test programme ahead of schedule and will not ride alongside his teammate
Shinya Nakano: 1'59.6 (64 Laps)
"The latest engine is a definite improvement; I could feel straight away that
there was more top-end power. The power also doesn't drop off as steeply at the
top of the rev range, there's more over-rev, and this gives you more options on
gear selection for some corners. I tried a shorter gear through some of the
turns today that would not have been possible with the previous specification
engine. We still have some development work to do, but first are positive."
Alex Hofmann: 1'59.9 (67 Laps)
"It's always hard testing after a race, but today's test has been very
productive. The new brake discs and pads from Brembo worked well on the bike,
although we won't really see the benefits of this new system until Motegi, which
is always hard on brakes. We also tested a new specification front fork that
improved the stability of the bike under braking. Finally I did two endurance
runs for Bridgestone and, although it was hard work, I was happy to see that my
lap times stayed consistent throughout."
Naoya Kaneko: Technical Coordinator
"Shinya's feedback on the latest version of our Ninja ZX-RR engine was very
positive, which confirms that our development programme is moving in the right
direction. Shinya will continue the engine evaluation tomorrow using a slightly
different exhaust system. Alex's comments about the new carbon brake set-up from
Brembo were also positive, and we're confident that the new system will
eliminate some of the problems that he suffered at Motegi last year."