Back in WorldSBK after a season out, Xavi Fores is keen to keep chipping away in order to exploit his Kawasaki’s full potential
2018 Best Independent rider Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) makes a welcome return to the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship grid with the Puccetti Kawasaki team, and he was out testing at Portimao for the first time this year. The Spaniard spent most of the test at Jerez in November getting back used to the electronics and regulations of a World Superbike, whilst at Portimao, he was able to refine his package and try new things.
Testing everything from electronic strategies to new chassis and swingarms, Fores also experimented with different racing lines and braking points. His second day of testing was marred by a crash at Turn 1, braking too deeply and tucking the front end. Whilst a red flag was brought out, Fores himself was OK. The 2020 bike he was sporting was also equipped with a test engine, although not the one he will use for the races.
Speaking after the two days, Fores emphasised the importance of the Portimao test: “These were two very important days, which allowed me to understand my bike better. Beyond the lap times, I now know what I need to do to get the best out of my ZX-10RR, a totally different bike to those I’ve ridden up until now.
“There’s still work to do before I can fully exploit the bike’s potential, but my team is helping me and we’re on the right path. We’ll continue to work during the two-day test at Phillip Island, which precedes the race weekend,” he concluded, eager to return himself and his team to the top of the Independent team battlefront.
Fores has a good history at the Phillip Island circuit, having been a race leader in his most recent race at the circuit. As for Spanish riders, the last three races at the Australian venue were clinched by Alvaro Bautista in dominant fashion, whilst Carlos Checa is the most successful Spanish rider at the track with four race wins.
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