Kawasaki Press Release
I copied this from roadracingworld.com but its a press release so I don't feel bad about stealing it ;-)
ANDREW PITT'S BEST EVER IN SEPANG
Sepang Thursday, January 16th, 2003: Kawasaki Racing Team rider Andrew Pitt concluded three days of testing in Sepang with a personal best time of 2:06.3, more than four seconds faster than on his MotoGP premiere at the Malaysian Grand Prix in October last year. Whereas Pitt boarded a plane on Wednesday night to attend his best friend¹s wedding, and will re-join the team at their next session in Phillip Island, Australia, his team-mate Garry McCoy decided to add another half day of testing on Thursday to his schedule, before the crates had to be packed. McCoy improved his previous best time by a tenth of a second, and could have gone much faster if a clutch problem hadn't slowed him on his best run.
German Alex Hofmann and Japanese test rider Akira Yanagawa joined McCoy on the extra fourth day of testing, with Hofmann narrowing down the choice of new generation Dunlop tyres, and Yanagawa successfully working on the set-up of a new front fork and a new rear shock absorber.
Hofmann left the Sepang circuit in an especially triumphant mood: Having improved by more than a second on Wednesday already, he slashed another 1.3 seconds on Thursday, when he had the chance to swap his older, carburetted Ninja ZX-RR version with Andrew Pitt's up-to-date fuel-injected bike.
Andrew Pitt (72 laps best time in 2:06.31):
"I'm pretty happy with my lap time. We're making progress. I'm more than four seconds faster than at the Grand Prix here in Sepang back in October, and even though we still have a long way to go, we're getting closer. The bike is a little bit easier to ride, the whole combination is working better now. We just had a few problems with the fuel injection, the bike was running a bit rough. But I think it is just my bike, a small mistake that we should be able to sort out easily, because when I tried Akira's one, it was a lot smoother. We further improved the chassis settings and got rid of the rear shock pumping that was disturbing us on the first two days of testing. We also went through a few good tyres, and in the end, the bike was just better on the exit of the turns, and it was possible to open the throttle a bit earlier. Now I'm really looking forward to our next test session in Phillip Island, as long as it is not too windy, because if it is, it's a real handful down there. But otherwise, I love to ride on my home track. My goal is to make the same sort of progress in Phillip Island that I did here!"
Garry McCoy (43/20 laps best time in 2:06.40):
"On Wednesday, we started to move the pivot point of the rear swing arm. We went the complete opposite direction to what we had in our previous tests and in the last couple of days. We had to change the rear shock and a few other settings to suit it, and it wasn't really feeling too bad, probably a bit better than anything we've had in the past. It just seemed as if I had to push really hard to do times which are two seconds off the pace, so it was obvious that we needed to work and play with it more. I was pretty happy about the chance of another half a day of testing on Thursday, because track time is definitely what we need at the moment. We went through a few more settings and further improved the bike, and my idea was to put in one fast lap and then to try and set up the bike to ride at this pace comfortably. I tried several times to go for a lap in the 2.05's, but I never accomplished it, because I either the tyre wasn't right, or we had other problems. On my fastest lap, the clutch was slipping pretty much all the way--without that, I would have been a second faster for sure!"
Alex Hofmann (51/52 laps best time in 2:06.62):
"We went through an immense tyre testing schedule, and eventually we found a very good tyre that kept a high level of grip for a long time. I rode this tyre for about 20 laps, and the performance was very consistent which was a real revelation. I then tried the tyre type on which Garry and Andrew did most of their set-up work, and it was another step up in terms of grip and traction. Luckily I had a chance to adjust myself and the bike to the higher performance level of this tyre, and when I went out with a suitable setting, I went one second quicker straight away. This lap in 2:07.9 was good for my self-confidence--if you test tyres for so long, and your lap times remain the same, it gets monotonous. On Thursday, there was even more to come. I was riding Andrew¹s bike, which felt like a thoroughbred Grand Prix racer in comparison to my prototype. Instead of doing more tyre testing, we tried different mappings for the fuel injection system in order to get it as smooth and responsive as possible. But more than anything, I had a lot of fun, and it felt good to get much quicker once again. I am also happy because I did learn how to slide properly. I can now crack the throttle open in the apex and spin the wheel all the way to the curbs on the exit of the turn with a big smile on my face. Sometimes I even manage to smoke the tyre!"
Akira Yanagawa (50/16 laps best time in 2:06.73):
"I am quite happy with the settings we found and with the progress we've made. We used a new front fork and a new rear shock, and both are now working really well. With this setting, I¹m able to push harder and to get closer to the aggressive riding style I like most. I didn't even use a soft tyre on my fastest lap, it was a normal racing compound that I ran for quite some time to see how it would last a long distance!"
Harald Eckl (team manager):
"I am happy with the outcome of this test. We made another step forward in comparison to our last test session in December, with our riders being over two seconds quicker than back then. If we compare Andrew Pitt's lap times now with his race times back in October, there is a gap of almost five seconds, which is down to improvements on the bike, improvements on the tyres, and the growing experience of Andrew as a rider. The rear shock pumping that the riders complained about earlier on is all but gone, which is a relief, because in the beginning you never know if such a problem stems from a mismatch of components or if it's just a matter of getting the set-up right. Luckily, it turned out that we could solve the problem. Our next aim is to improve the fuel injection system. There is a lot of potential just in the mappings. Of course there are many things that we didn't have a chance to try yet. But it¹s also very good to know that we are far from having explored the limits of our bike. I am confident that we still have full seconds and not just tenths or hundredths up our sleeves. Looking back at what we've done and what we have the chance to do in the remaining weeks before the season starts, we are well on schedule!"