WSBK »

Mid-term report - Kawasaki

With seven rounds of the 2011 World Superbike Championship completed, Crash.net takes a look at how the seven manufacturers have fared thus far. Next up, Kawasaki…
Kawasaki rider standings after 7 rounds, 14 races

Tom Sykes – Kawasaki RTS - 13th
Joan Lascorz – Kawasaki SRT - 14th
Roberto Rolfo – Pedercini Kawasaki - 17th
Chris Vermeulen – Kawasaki SRT - 19th
Mark Aitchison – Pedercini Kawasaki - 20th

One of the more interesting developments ahead of the 2011 World Superbike Championship season was the arrival of the new Kawasaki ZX-10R, a bike tasked with turning around the fortunes of a manufacturer that has for some time now footed the overall standings.

Half a year in and it is still rooted to the bottom of the table… But there are signs that it is poised to ascend into the upper echelons of the field soon.

Extensive pre-season testing and positive noises coming from its riders gave the impression the bike would be a potential podium contender, but in the reality of a race environment, it has struggled to turn that promise into results.

Disappointing showings at Assen and Monza slowed its progress, but Tom Sykes's pole position at Misano has kick-started a run of good form in recent races and the overall results make for better reading than in previous years.

Indeed, though Kawasaki is the only manufacturer yet to reach the podium this season, Sykes has come close, while Lascorz's Superbike initiation is now beginning to deliver some results too. With a bike that appears to be improving with every round, 'team green' is now well placed to get that podium and possibly even scale both Suzuki and Honda in the manufacturer standings.

As for the riders, Sykes has taken advantage of his contract extension to lead Kawasaki's charge. The pole position aside, Sykes has cracked the top six three times this season, though accidents from similar positions at Donington Park and Motorland Aragon should see him higher than 13th in the overall standings.

Though he has adopted a much quieter approach and doesn't appear to have been a match for Sykes in terms of raw pace this season, Lascorz is actually just three points behind his team-mate now, with two top five finishes. Given his injury woes, this has been a solid transition for the Supersport front runner.

A welcome – if belated – return to action for Chris Vermeulen has yielded some encouraging results recently, including a top ten finish at Misano, though it remains to be seen whether the Australian can get back to something near his best any time soon.

Taking advantage of the updated machinery, Team Pedercini may still be considered the WSBK tail-enders – thanks mostly to the lack of similarly privateer rivals this season -, but riders Roberto Rolfo and Mark Aitchison have delivered better-than-usual results for the Italian outfit, including the latter's top ten finish at Assen.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Lascorz, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2011
Lascorz, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2011
Lascorz, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2011
Lascorz, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2011
Lascorz, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2011
Lascorz, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2011
Lascorz, Aragon WSBK Race 2 2011
Lascorz, Aragon WSBK Race 1 2011
Sykes, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Sykes, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Tom Sykes - Kawasaki Racing
Sykes, Race 1, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Sykes, Race 1, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Melandri, Sykes, Race 1, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Sykes, Race 2,  U.S. WSBK 2014.
Sykes, Race 2, Start,  U.S. WSBK 2014.
Sykes, Race 2, Start, U.S. WSBK 2014.
Sykes, Race 2, Start, U.S. WSBK 2014.

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Nick636

July 08, 2011 4:21 AM

Tom was already ALMOST on the podium at Donington. Unfortunately he lost the front. But there is no doubt the bike is a gigantic step forward. And I do believe, and have said this 100 times on this site, that people unrealistically expected the new bike to win from the off. Aprilia didn't, BMW still haven't after 3 years. The bike gets more and more competitive. They need to just juice some more grunt out of it. If you look at Sykes, Donington, possibly got a little over eager, Misano, if they didn't red flag he was looking strong for top 4, possibly podium, and Aragon, second race, if you look how Lascorz had caught up to Fabrizio at the end, Tom would've almost certainly had him for 4th there too. Add those 3 results and Sykes has almost 40 more points. Much different ball game. We'll see podiums this year.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.