January 31, 2006 The official colours of the various MotoGP teams are beginning to emerge with Kawasaki unveiling its new 2006 Ninja ZX-RR machinery in official colours at Phillip Island today during the opening day of the three-day official MotoGP test at the Australian circuit. Almost a year in development, the new Ninja ZX-RR MotoGP machine has been designed from the ground up by Kawasaki's engineers, based on the lessons learnt since the Japanese factory returned to top flight competition at the end of 2002. The new bike features a 990cc, inline four-cylinder engine that is significantly more compact than previous versions, housed in a chassis that Shinya Nakano declared a major step forward in terms of handling when he tested it at Sepang.
Team rider Shinya Nakano will be joined this year in the team by Frenchman Randy de Puniet and both have come to the testing sessions in full fitness set for a demanding year. Last week both riders tested in Malaysia for three days, with Nakano fresh from a seven-day training camp in Japan with his personal trainer, while de Puniet travelled from his home in Andorra to spend a week working with the Kawasaki Racing Team's physical performance expert, Dr. Tony Head, at a training camp in England.
During the three days in Malaysia, the pair completed a combined total of more than 300 laps around the 5.548km Sepang circuit as they tested chassis, exhaust, and tyres as well as testing new suspension components from Öhlins.
The Kawasaki Team then travelled directly from Malaysia to Australia, to participate in the three-day test at Phillip Island, starting today.