Thursday, 8 June, VIESTE (Italy): 2017 sees a clear divide inside the Poret racing family camps – the split coming over the weapon of choice, the Ski.
The split is simple; elder brother and two-time world champion Mickael and youngest brother Morgan have opted to run the latest and much hyped Kawasaki SXR, while defending and four time champion Jeremy stays with his trusted Bullett V2 and has switched the youngest of the racing family, sister Estelle, onto the same.
So, after the opening round how is it working out; clearly the Bullett is ahead on points with both Jeremy and Estelle taking a Moto win, Grand Prix victories in Porto Cesareo and both lead their respective championships, Mickael and Morgan starting promisingly but sit in fourth and fifth.
The elder Poret said you will see many Kawasaki’s on the start line. He was right. But is it the way to go and will it threaten the likes of Bullett, ProFrorce, Sea-Doo, Hydrospace and others.
The view of Norwegian rider Stian Schjetlein, currently sitting third in the points and running a ProForce is that “right now it is a development non-Kawasaki riders can manage.”
But is it a must have item? Is it case of staying with ‘The Force or biting The Bullet?’ “It is a game changer for sure. The Kawasaki is heavier, has a longer hull and a big engine. It changes everything. It’s very easy to ride and it will enable riders normally in and around tenth place to be fighting for a podium. It’s a simple scenario. The older hulls need to evolve to be able to compete.
“I don’t think it is the right direction to go because we are now one step closer to Runabout with hulls weighing the same. Stand up should not be the same as Runabout but it looks like we are taking that step.
“If you look at some of the current Ski we are running, Bullett, ProForce, K1s the all-important performance parts, after-market parts have been out and available for several years. The new Kawasaki does not currently have this [advantage]. There are one or two manufacturers making parts but the Ski is just six months into production so they are not as developed or tested in this area. They are not behind us, because as it comes they can keep the same speed as the older hulls.”
“The Ski is good in all conditions but it excels in the big sea waves because of the weight, the extra-long nose piece. If you look at the distance from the handle pole brackets to the end of the Ski it’s about the same [as our] but in the front they have a big extra piece. That gives the advantage in the big waves and riders don’t have to think about subbing and it also carries through the waves better because of weight.”
The Jury remains undecided! Big Waves expected in Vieste!!