The big change that has KRT watching Puccetti Kawasaki closely in 2022 WorldSBK

The satellite Puccetti Kawasaki team breaks away from the factory outfit with its choice of WorldSBK suspension supplier, says it's transformed ZX-10RR

Lucas Mahias - Puccetti Kawasaki

Eponymous Puccetti Racing team owner Manuel Puccetti has described his satellite entered Kawasaki ZX-10RR as a ‘completely new bike’ following a surprise switch to Ohlins suspension for the 2022 WorldSBK Championship.

The Italian team was one of a handful to return from a winter hiatus in preparation for the season ahead - which gets underway on 9-10 April at Motorland Aragon - with a two-day outing at Jerez alongside factory KRT stablemates and Honda HRC.

However, in an interesting development, Puccetti rolled out a Kawasaki ZX-10RR with Ohlins suspension, replacing the Showa set-up as mirrored on the KRT bikes.

The move is believed to be a reaction to the latest generation ZX-10RR proving more temperamental to ride, with Puccetti’s Lucas Mahias, plus KRT riders Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes, suffering a series of accidents in 2021 as a result of pressure on the brakes and suspension.

Giving the Ohlins-equipped machine its first run at Jerez, Mahias - who skipped the final four events due to surgery - was impressed by the ZX-10RR’s transformation.

“I’ve finished these tests with a smile on my face. After four months of not being able to ride, my body has responded well, and I quickly regained all the automatisms on my bike. 

“At first, I was feeling a little pain all over, but the more I rode, the better I felt. We tested many things and focused particularly on the new Ohlins suspension, with which I got on well. 

“I need to continue to adapt my riding style to the bike to achieve the kind of results I missed out on last season, also due to crashes and injuries.”

Team owner Puccetti also pronounced himself happy with the change, describing the ZX-10RR as a ‘completely new bike’.

“We changed suspension; we try Öhlins. We found a deal for them for this year and it’s a completely new bike, completely different. We spent a few days on the first touch, and we are happy with the start. 

“Lucas was happy to be back on the bike, mainly, and part of this is he’s very happy about the new change. Of course, we will need more laps to understand and to push the best with this new package.”

The move is likely to pique the interest of KRT, which has a long-standing relationship with Showa through its roadgoing models. However, after Rea in particular suffered a series of costly crashes in his fight with Toprak Razgatlioglu, the progress of Mahias on the Puccetti machine will likely be noted.