Kawasaki got off the mark during the second round of the World Superbike Championship after Broc Parkes took them to a hard fought 14th position in Qatar.
Having qualified 13th on the grid, Parkes was confident of translating that into the points they missed out on during the season opener at Phillip Island.
He started well in the first race, moving up to seventh by the second corner, but was back down to 11th once the race had settled down. Dropping a further three places before the race was over, Parkes was nonetheless pleased to get points on the board.
“In race one I had a good start and I was in a couple of battles with a few guys until I ran out of grip towards the end of the race. I was really trying to keep the bikes in thirteenth and fourteenth to get some points on the board after Phillip Island.”
The Aussie rider ran in the points in the second race too, but lost his chance of a good finish when he high-sided out of turn five and lost a few positions, eventually crossing the line in 16th position.
With a pre-race test to come at Valencia, Parkes says he is feeling increasingly confident on the evolving 2009 ZX-10RR.
''The weekend has been quite successful for the team as we qualified well and on quite a few occasions we were in the top ten.
“Although I missed out on points in race two we were seven or eight seconds faster than in race one. I'm getting more confident on the bike and feel that we are getting closer to running in the top fifteen more consistently.
“This weekend we have learned a lot, I feel better than I did leaving Phillip Island and our pace is a lot better. We are definitely closer, so we can go back to Europe ready to regroup.”
Team manager Paul Risbridger has also been encouraged by the step forward made by the team since Australia, particularly in Superpole where they out-qualified BMW and Suzuki.
“It's been an encouraging weekend where we have shown good pace during qualifying and managed to use qualifying tyres in the new Superpole to good effect. Our race pace has improved a lot since Phillip Island and although the results, fourteenth and sixteenth here in Qatar, are not ideal they show that we have made some very good progress with our race set-up and we can only get stronger from here.''