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MotoGP - Rain Disrupys Philip Island Test for Kawasaki - February 1st 2006


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    Shinya Nakano and Randy de Puniet were limited to finding a good wet set-up on the new Ninja ZX-RR today, as rain disrupted the Kawasaki Racing Team's second day of testing at the Phillip Island circuit.

    Nakano started the day with full wet tyres front and rear on his Ninja ZX-RR, using this morning's session to get a feeling for the new bike in the difficult conditions.

    The Japanese rider worked with his crew to refine the wet set-up on the bike, making changes to the engine management system to improve traction and control around the slippery Phillip Island circuit.

    Conditions improved slightly during the afternoon, with dry patches appearing in places on the track, prompting Nakano to switch to a rear tyre with a lighter tread cut than the full wet rear tyre he used throughout the morning.

    For de Puniet, today provided him with his first opportunity to test the new Ninja ZX-RR in full wet conditions. The 24-year-old Frenchman concentrated this morning on finding a useable wet set-up, but he was forced to switch to his spare bike in the afternoon, after crashing without injury at the ultra-fast turn one.

    Having identified a set-up he was satisfied with, de Puniet continued testing after the crash, setting consistently fast lap times during the still wet afternoon session.

    The Kawasaki Racing Team will return to Phillip Island tomorrow for the third, and final, day of testing at the Australian circuit.

    Shinya Nakano: #56 - 1'42.6 (27 Laps)"It has rained all day today, so we've been restricted in what we could do in terms of testing. This morning, with the track completely wet, I did some laps to get a feeling for the new bike on wet weather tyres. We then made some small changes to the engine management system, with positive results. In the afternoon the track conditions were less consistent, and we were able to test a new rear tyre from Bridgestone. This tyre had a lighter tread cut than the full wet tyres, and it worked very well in the mixed conditions we had in the afternoon. I didn't complete so many laps today, but we did end the day with a wet set-up on the new bike that I'm happy with, so it was a worthwhile test for me."

    Randy de Puniet: #17 - 1'43.3 (49 Laps)"The conditions were good for me today, as the rain allowed me to complete my first real wet test aboard the new Ninja ZX-RR. Through the morning we worked to find a good wet set-up on the bike, making some changes to the power delivery and throttle response to suit my riding style. Unfortunately the morning ended with a crash; I got on the gas too hard on a new tyre and went down in turn one. In the afternoon we found a good solution with the set-up and I was able to put in some consistent lap times in the difficult conditions. We're hoping for dry weather tomorrow, as we need to do some work on the set-up of the bike to eliminate the chatter we suffered on Monday, and we also have a lot of new tyres to test for Bridgestone."

    Naoya Kaneko: Technical Manager"We were hoping for dry conditions today, as Bridgestone have a lot of new tyres for us to test here at Phillip Island. Unfortunately it rained all day, but at least it gave the riders a chance to work on finding a good wet set-up on the new bike. The track conditions were fairly consistent earlier in the day and that allowed us to look more closely at traction control settings in the wet, which is sometimes difficult to do during a race weekend because of the time constraints. Hopefully the weather will improve tomorrow, so that we can get on with the job of tyre testing with Bridgestone."