Portimao Test – 19th/20th January 2014
The first test of 2014 for Mahi Kawasaki has ended on a high. This was the first time the team had been on track since the 2013 season finale in Jerez. Upon arrival at the track on Sunday morning it was clear that, after the heavy rain and high winds the evening before, the conditions on track were not suitable for the team to begin testing. Although light showers persisted throughout the morning, the track slowly began to dry whilst the crew were completing their final preparations.
At around 14:00, the weather finally relented and gave the team the window of opportunity they were waiting for. Kenan was the first Mahi Racing rider out of the pit on his ZX6-R followed shortly after by Fabien on his brand new ZX10 Evo bike.
By the end of day one, both riders and their crew were in good spirits, pleased with the afternoon’s progress and looking positively ahead to day two. Track conditions were much better on Monday allowing the team the valuable time on track they were so desperate for. Kenan, again, was the first Mahi Racing rider out on track followed a while later by Fabien. Fabien completed approximately 80 laps of the undulating Portimao Circuit during the two day test.
The new rear shock was successfully tested and some good progress was made in that respect. The test was a useful learning curve for Fabien, he had to get used to slick tyres and to the overall power of the machine. Progress was also made by the crew who were getting to grips with the kit electronics. Kenan completed 100 laps over the two days and was pleased with his bike and crew. The crew tested a new suspension which Kenan adapted to really well. Kenan’s unofficial best lap time was 1:46.2 and this time put him at the top of the time sheets. The shakedown test was successful and a lot was gained by the Mahi Racing Team. The team left the test confident that both bikes are good enough to go to Phillip Island and be fiercely competitive.
Fabien Foret – Rider
It was good for me to be back on track after three weeks off.
I would like to thank my crew for putting in the long hours to prepare the bike and to all of the teams that lent us parts to enable us to test this bike. We did get some valuable information from the test and hope to improve more at the Phillip Island test.
Kenan Sofuoglu – Rider
I can’t say I am completely happy with the test as, before the test, I was unwell. The doctor told me I could not move my body about too much, but I still wanted to do this test as I haven’t ridden my bike for a long time. I am still happy; I completed 100 laps in two days. My times are not very good as I have no power to control the bike due to
illness. The team worked very well for me. I changed my suspension and I adapted to that change very well. This test was a warm up for me for the Phillip Island test in February. I will be very strong in Phillip Island. The team and the bike are ready.