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MotoGP - Nakano and De Puniet Faster in Sepang - January 24th 2006


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    Kawasaki riders, Shinya Nakano and Randy de Puniet, both improved their lap times during the second day of testing at Sepang today, before the onset of rain brought the test to a premature end.

    Despite the weather, both Nakano and de Puniet managed to complete their planned test schedule, which included tyre testing with Bridgestone and the evaluation of revised engine and chassis components on their Ninja ZX-RR machines.

    Nakano tested four different rear tyres on his Ninja ZX-RR during the morning session, with one new tyre in particular offering an advantage around the twists and turns of the 5.548 km Sepang circuit, and allowing the Kawasaki rider to improve on his lap time from yesterday by over a second.

    Nakano also evaluated revised engine and clutch components, before testing a redesigned, more aerodynamic fairing on his 2006 Ninja ZX-RR.

    De Puniet also tested a number of rear Bridgestone tyres today, as he worked to identify a suitable tyre for his race simulation tomorrow. The 24-year-old Frenchman walked away uninjured from a crash whilst testing a new fairing, before going on to improve on his previous best lap time by more than a second.

    The Kawasaki Racing team will return to Sepang tomorrow for the third, and penultimate, day of testing.

    Shinya Nakano: #56 - 2'02.65 (50 Laps)"Today we focused mainly on an important tyre test with Bridgestone. They had a number of rear tyres for us to test, and one in particular definitely offered an advantage in terms of traction. The tyre uses a different drive compound, and it was on this rear tyre that I set my fastest time, over one second quicker than my best time from yesterday. We also tested some new components on the bike, including a modified chassis designed to improve stability. We will continue testing with this chassis tomorrow, as we work to improve overall set-up of the new bike. It's been a busy, but productive, day."

    Randy de Puniet: #17 - 2'02.55 (50 Laps)"Our main aim today was to test some new tyres from Bridgestone, and to identify the best tyre for my race simulation tomorrow afternoon. We also tested some modified components on the bike, including a redesigned, more compact fairing. It was during this part of the test that I had my first crash in MotoGP. I'm not sure what caused it, the rear just came round on me as I got off the throttle and down I went. It was a fairly big crash, but I walked away uninjured, and we were able to complete the rest of our test schedule before the rain appeared at four o'clock. I improved my lap time by more than one second, so I'm happy with the way things have gone today."

    Naoya Kaneko: Technical Manager"Both riders were kept busy with tyre testing today, as it is important that we supply Bridgestone with the test data they need to continue their development for the season ahead. On the chassis front we tested a new fairing on bikes. Designed to be more compact and aerodynamic, Shinya's comments on the new fairing indicate that it offers the same level of protection as the old. This is an area we will look at again in future tests. Finally, we also managed to evaluate some revised engine components and completed our test schedule despite the onset of rain in the late afternoon."