As usual when the FIM Motocross World Championship is over, the Kawasaki Racing Team went this month to Southern Europe for several testing sessions. It was a great opportunity to start working with Gautier Paulin, who has now joined the team, and to test new parts a few months prior the new season.
The entire staff moved to Spain and later to South of France, where several tracks were selected for these testing sessions. Thanks to some showers during these sessions, the riders were able to work and test on hard, soft and wet tracks! For François Lemariey, team manager, this period is always important, as there are many prototype parts to test and develop. “We used several tracks in Spain and south of France, so our riders could test on different layouts and conditions. Both Xavier and Gautier were surprised to have so much work, as the factory sent six boxes full of special parts to Europe! We also had new parts from our technical partners, so we decided to do some previous tests at the workshop before moving to Southern Europe. Takashi Maruyama, a Japanese engine engineer and Theo Lockwood, who is dedicated to electronic ignition at Kawasaki Motors Corporation in the US, stayed with us and it was a positive experience to work with them as we could share many information,” said François who was pleased to work in a great atmosphere with all the team members.
“We’ve changed some members of our technical staff, with a new engine tuner – David Raymond – while Brad Graham is now dedicated to the electronic ignition. Concerning the mechanics Luc Bruggeman works with Xavier Boog, and Jorg Pyka is now alongside Gautier Paulin. It was our first experience with Gautier, and we’re delighted to work with him; he has great human qualities, and gave the mechanics and engineers much information. He has a huge testing experience and it was very interesting to mix Gautier and Xavier remarks; Xavier will enter his third season with the team, and he knows what he wants. The atmosphere was very good during this period on the tracks, as well as at the hotel, and everyone has a great motivation for next season,” he added.
Sport manager of the team, Yves Demaria was also pleased to work with such a motivated group. “We worked hard on the bikes during the season, and as we raced with the 2012 models since the French Grand Prix, we never thought that we would have so many parts to test! The factory has also work hard to prepare so many novelties, and Xavier, who is now used to the team and the bike, was also surprised; it’s for us a great motivation to know that at the factory everyone is pushing hard, and also to enter a true cooperation with Kawasaki US. I was also testing with Xavier and Gautier, and I can say that the bike is improved; the engine is more powerful but not aggressive, the frame and suspensions are more comfortable and we’ve worked on many other details. As we could imagine it was a pleasure to work with Gautier, he knows exactly what he wants; as Xavier has more experience, he is now more involved in the development of the bike, and it was great to compare both opinions,” analysed Yves, who will enter his second season with KRT.
“I would say that these sessions were better than last year; it’s easier to work with two riders than three, the relationship is better and stronger between the team members. Everyone is motivated and has the same goal: to offer the best results to Kawasaki and of course to win races. We will receive the new parts in a few weeks, and we have scheduled other tests later in March on sandy tracks,” continued Yves, who has now more experience as sport manager.
Riders and mechanics made a break after these tests, and soon they will be back at the workshop and on the tracks to prepare the first pre-season races scheduled in February.
Photo: Kawasaki Racing Team preparing the 2012 season – Copyright:KRT