Lowes reveals Kawasaki’s 2024 development plan: "Our main focus is acceleration and top speed"

Wednesday, 30 August 2023 17:15 GMT

The Brit was focusing on next season on his sole day of testing at MotorLand Aragon with Lowes giving the first description of Kawasaki’s development idea

Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK rider Alex Lowes got his first taste of the Aragon test on Wednesday after only taking part in one of the two days. Lowes was on track with teammate Jonathan Rea and the two riders shared a split programme for their ZX-10RR with Rea focusing on the upcoming rounds while Lowes had an eye on the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season, much like development rider Florian Marino had on Tuesday.

After Marino and WorldSSP star Adrian Huertas stepped in on Tuesday due to Rea and Lowes only having one day left of their allocated ten for testing, the race riders were back on their machines on Wednesday. The #22 had three ZX-10RR machines to test on Wednesday while the six-time Champion had two as they completed a busy day in Spain. The pair had a split approach to the test, with Lowes focusing on the future while Rea’s focus was solely on the final four rounds of the season.

In the morning, Lowes completed 48 laps and was the eighth-fastest rider as he tested all three of his bikes, setting a fastest lap of 1’50.600s. He was around 1.5 seconds slower than the fastest time, set by Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) who used a qualifying tyre for his time. The Brit added 82 laps in the afternoon to bring his total to 130 for the day and he finished in fifth overall after setting a 1’49.791s.

Reflecting on his busy day, and the developments towards 2024, Lowes said: “The lap time wasn’t bad, it was at the hottest part of the day just after lunch. I finished with a 15-lap run on harder tyres to try and take some grip away, because that’s where we normally struggle. It was mentally tiring. I had three bikes. You’re sort of a bit nervous to make the wrong call now in case it hinders you in four months. A lot of the stuff we’re trying was the first try of new parts. You have to get a feel for it, give your positive and negative points and then move on. It’s not a case of keeping it on the bike and building up a setting like you would in a race weekend.

“We need to try to find some more speed on the straight. Our bike is very good especially when the track’s grippy. With the Kawasaki, you can go down to a lap time so fast. Our first laps today were already in the mix even though we missed a day’s testing. It’s very easy to ride the bike to a certain level. We need to now find some real performance in terms of a race situation and being able to battle with the guys a bit easier. A lot of that will come from acceleration and speed. That’s an area that we’re focusing on, whether it’s engine, aerodynamics, rider position… that’s our main focus.”

Team Manager Guim Roda also spoke about the 2024 development plan as Kawasaki look to return to winning ways on a consistent basis next year. Although the Japanese manufacturer won the last race, in Race 2 at Most, it was their only win of the 2023 season and both KRT and Kawasaki will look to return to the top step, on a consistent basis, as soon as possible.

Roda said: “It was positive. It’s not easy for a fast rider. Many times, it’s just a matter of times of feedback, not how fast or not we can go. It’s to collect information, it’s not easy. Especially for a rider who immediately wants efficiency. At the same time, we combined them with some idea that we can use in the last four rounds. It has been, from an engineering perspective, very productive. I know Alex would like to do more laps on his race bike, but he understood the target.”

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