Kawasaki Take Positives Away From Island Results


Loris Baz racing fo the Kawasaki Racing Team, scored a second place finish in race two while his team-mate Tom Sykes took a best of third, also in race two at the Opening round of the 2014 World Superbike Championship giving the Kawasaki team a positive start to the series.

On a day when the temperatures rose on track, after two days of cooler conditions in practice, Baz put in a good first race to go fifth after the full 22-lap distance. He upped his game once more in race two after some set-up changes and finished only 0.238 seconds from eventual race winner Sylvain Guintoli.

The second race was halted because of an oil leak, and the results counted back to lap 14 of the planned 22.

‰ÛÏWe changed just a little thing on the bike for race two and then opted for a new front tyre." Baz explained. "So to score second place and then leave here second in the world championship is really good.

"In race one I was really happy with a top five and it felt like a podium. When I crashed again on Friday I really did not think I could make it this week but it worked out well on raceday.

"I wanted to go really fast in the beginning of race two and I saw that my pace was really good." Baz continued. "I was even faster than Sylvain in the lead, but I always rode with the idea to save the tyres. My bike was feeling great. Tom was coming back and I am sure the end of the race would have been a great fight if it had gone full distance.‰Û
Reigning SBK champion Sykes experienced some grip issues in race one and finished seventh, but changes to his set-up arrived at by his team allowed him to fight back through the field in race two and he took a strong third place.

He could have challenged for the win had the race not been cut short by the red flag, but he was still only 1.103 seconds from the winner.

‰ÛÏWe had some issues in race one but in the second race we changed the set-up. I really do have to say a big thanks to the team." Sykes commented. "I have a real good set of guys working for me and their knowledge is incredible.

"We went back to some basics and it was so nice. Although Sylvain rode well to win the race I felt race two would have been our race, but unfortunately it was cut short. That is how racing goes sometimes. I am very happy with how things have gone finally.

"For track temperatures to be so hot on raceday here in Phillip Island, and a little bit of wind blowing around, these are usually the worst conditions for us. So it was great to come back so strong at the end." Sykes continued.

"We reeled in the Aprilia and that never usually happens here, so I felt the next second laps of the second race would have been my part of the race. Now I can head back to Europe knowing that we have been so competitive at our worst circuit.

"We‰Ûªre off to a steady start but I am only six points off second in the championship and 16 points off the lead.‰Û
In the new Evo category David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team SBK Evo) made a clean sweep of the two top places on offer on his Ninja ZX-10R, finishing ninth in race one overall and then tenth in race two. He is ranked ninth in the oval championship standings after two races, and clearly leads the Evo class.

‰ÛÏI can add this Evo class win to the one from race one. The second race was hotter and I did not have as much grip. Marco Melandri passed me so I followed him and he helped me to push forward." Salom stated.

"On the last laps I took a lead over Canepa and I was going faster every lap. The team and I worked well in the winter tests to arrive here in Australia 100% ready," he concluded.

Top Image: Loris Baz sits second in the WSBK Championship after the season opener in Australia
Credit: Kawasaki Racing

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