MCE BSB - First Official Test
On Thursday the 14th of March, Donington Park was flooded with MCE Insurance British Superbikes teams and fans for the first official test day before the season kicks off at Brands on the 5th of April. Conditions were freezing but this didn't stop the riders getting out there to make those all important pre-season changes to their bikes.
Jenny Tinmouth got the ball rolling as she began her testing in the first session. Jenny put in a good number of laps and the improvement in her times was noticeable. But it was the returning three times Champion Ryuichi Kiyonari on the Samsung Honda who came out and put in a blinding time. The Samsung team were testing at Cadwell last week and this obviously paid off. But it wasn't long before reigning Champion Shane 'Shakey' Byrne got out on track and blew the field away with a time 2 seconds quicker than anyone else, content with that he went back in after only 11 laps for a cuppa. Alex Lowes followed suit and put in a time just half a second behind the Champ. Kiyo was having none of it and went out again and eventually got himself the third fastest time. When I asked Shakey afterwards about setting the fastest time he said, "I didn't even realise we were being timed!"
The second session saw much of the same; Kiyo was a few seconds off the pace but after some tweaks was back lapping fast. The conditions were making things difficult with the occasional flurry of snow but this didn't stop Shakey putting in his best time of the session in only 8 laps. His teammate Keith Farmer was also in the mix and lapping as fast as the rest of the top three. When Shakey had gone off to lunch mid session Alex turned up the heat and put in the fastest time of what would turn out to be the whole day. Great work from the youngster who seemed very comfortable in his new team, he told me "It all feels good, we're doing the odd tweak but the bike feels fast, I just wish it wasn't so cold!"
Most of the teams decided to give the third session a miss as the track got colder and colder but some still ventured out. Tommy Bridewell on the Banthams Honda topped the list followed by Kuba Srmz on the Padgetts Honda and Danny Buchan with Quattro Plant Kawasaki. All these boys were getting faster all day and the bikes were obviously improving. Kuba was having a fantastic day and he told me he wasn't even pushing because he didn't want to bin the bike! I just hope a sponsor comes forward so Padgetts will definitely be on the grid.
The big surprise from the day was that Tyco didn't make an appearance. Still they were testing last week and it's a long way to come for one day. I look forward to the tests next week to see how they fit into the mix.
Here's the top ten combined times:
- Alex Lowes - Samsung Honda 1:31.283s
- Shane Byrne - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki +0.302s
- Ryuichi Kiyonari - Samsung Honda +0.593s
- Tommy Bridewell - Bathams Honda +1.126s
- Keith Farmer - Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki +1.141s
- James Westmoreland - Buildbase BMW +1.647s
- Jakub Smrz - Padgetts Honda +1.673s
- Danny Buchan - Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki +1.707s
- Robbin Harms - Doodson Motorsport Honda +2.385s
- James Ellison - Milwaukee Yamaha +2.434s
15.03.13 - Big Ed