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Garry McCoy gradually adjusting to the four-stroke Kawasaki

Garry McCoy gradually adjusting to the four-stroke Kawasaki

Garry McCoy gradually adjusting to the four-stroke Kawasaki

Garry McCoy returned to the Estoril circuit this week with memories still fresh of his crash there last year when he broke his leg and effectively ruined his season. The Australian rode below full fitness for the first few races but was forced to withdraw from four Grand Prix when the injury failed to heal properly, finishing the season in 20th place overall – the lowest rider from the full time entry list. However, the slide specialist is enjoying a fresh lease of life after getting to grips with the four-stroke Kawasaki he exchanged for the Yamaha YZR500 he has ridden for the last four seasons.

`It is a case of slowly but surely, but things have been coming along good for us,´ commented McCoy. `It is more or less what we expected. It´s obviously a new bike and needs a lot of work on the development. Also I´ve got to try and adjust to the four-stroke. There´s a little bit of work involved, but we are slowly getting there. We are making progress and I´m happy with the way things are going along at the moment.

$$$ The former speedway rider was an instant hit when he made the jump from 125s to 500s, but insists he will need to adapt his style slightly for the 200bhp four-stroke.

`It´s a little bit of me changing to suit the bike, and it changing to suit me. In some ways to ride a four-stroke you need a different riding style, which is where I´m slowly getting used to it. In the meantime I´m slowly changing the bike to be like my riding style. The last couple of tests have been better, getting comfortable with it. Up until now, here in Europe we´ve had bad conditions for the tests, which makes it difficult. It´d be nice to have good conditions and get some good work with good lap times, and then work the bike around those times.

McCoy revealed that Kawasaki are working hard to bring the Ninja ZX-RR up to speed, but admitted it may be some time before he can mix it up with the guys at the front again. `We´ve been focusing a lot on the chassis, it needs to be developed. It´s new like I said and needs a lot of work. There´s a lot of things the Japanese guys are working on underneath the revised fairing. $$$ Away from what I´m developing on the bike there´s also things happening behind the scenes. So there´s a lot of things going on. It´s taking time and it´ll probably be a few races into the season before we get the bike the way we want it.

For the time being the green machine is propping up the time sheets, but McCoy insists the team will not be worrying about that until the season is underway. `We´re not here to race the other bikes here at the moment, it´s just a test. We know we´re behind the other guys. It´s now up to us to get as many laps as possible on the bike, and get some good information to improve it, and try to set it up and sort it out as soon as possible.

MotoGP, 2003, Kawasaki Racing Team

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