Kawasaki endured a tough opening to their 2009 World Superbike season after set-up problems prevented both Broc Parkes and Makoto Tamada from scoring any points.

The team, taking part in their first event as a Paul Bird Motorsport run concern, had high hopes of a good result after Parkes qualified a solid 16th and was lapping just a second off the leading pace.

The Australian rider even converted that into a good start, Parkes getting as high as tenth position before suffering from severe chattering. Prompting a rapid drop down the field, Parkes' misery would eventually be compounded by a retirement inducing clutch problem.

The second race signalled an improvement for Parkes, but a poor start left him with a lot to do and he could only recover to 18th by the end of the race.

"The first race was a major disappointment for me as I had a really good start and we had good pace early on but I really struggled with chatter and finally a clutch problem took me out of the race.

"I didn't get a good start in race two which set me back further in the field but this is the first race distance on the bike and it was one of the toughest rides I have had in a long time. I was determined to finish the race so we can try and get some progress on set-up and data ready for the next race in Qatar."

Parkes' problems meant team-mate Makoto Tamada recorded their best result of the day in 17th position, although the Japanese rider was disappointed to miss out on the points.

"I experienced some pretty bad chattering issues in race one and I found it really hard to push the bike to improve my position. I was surprised that I was able to keep the pace and even though I am not happy with the result, I was happy to finish the race in order to give the team valuable race data.

"We made some minor set-up changes in race two and although I still had a lot of chatter, it wasn't as bad as race one - and it was nice to be able to do some overtaking. Like most riders today I struggled a lot with grip but I'm happy to give the team some feedback so we can continue to improve."

Despite starting the season off on the wrong foot as the only manufacturer not to score any points, Kawasaki manager Paul Risbridger insists the team have plenty to take away from Australia, not least their much improved pace during practice and qualifying.

"We have started the season with a standard machine specification and our testing and qualifying has been fairly positive. We were not so unhappy with our qualifying position with being only a second off pole position and it was great to see Broc compete in the new Superpole sessions.

"We're still learning a lot about the bike and it is clear to us that although the ZX-10R has good speed and is running well, we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to race pace and to get the bike consistently in the points. We are realistic about our objective and we're looking at seeing some significant improvements over the next few races."



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