With exclusive access to the GBmoto British Superbike Racing team, MoreBikes.co.uk brings you the inside story from the riders, mechanics and crew. We kick things off with Mark Smith-Halvorsen, the Team Principal…
“To say it’s been a busy few weeks for us here at GBmoto Racing would be an understatement! Since the final round last year, we’ve taken a huge step-up by becoming a factory supported team and signing two of the biggest names in the paddock. It’s meant the team has enjoyed a significant profile boost but has also meant that I’ve been flat out trying to get everything sorted in time.
However, after a winter spent building the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R machines that James Ellison and Chris Walker will be competing this year, we were finally able to head out to Cartagena in Spain for a three day ‘shakedown’ test.
With two new riders, new team members and brand new motorcycles, I was certainly a little anxious before the first day. I needn’t have been though as everyone gelled together fantastically and despite it being a brand new machine for James and a significantly different Kawasaki than what Chris is used to, they both clicked straight away and set their best ever times around the circuit – even though it was the first time the bikes had been run!
From there we headed to Almeria to join a BSB test where we continued the essential set-up work of the bikes and then on to a single day at Donington and two days at Snetterton. So much work needs to go in pre-season to get the bikes up to scratch, many of our competitors have had their bikes for a number of years so already have an idea of what works and what doesn’t work whereas we have had to spend a lot of time working on basic set-up for the suspension, chassis and the electronics package. We’ve already had three evolutions of engine, with a further one planned before Brands!
I’m really happy with how our testing has gone and am confident we can have a good showing at Brands. Both riders are feeling at home on their bikes and now have a base setting they’re happy with, setting some strong lap-times at Snetterton to finish 3rd and 6th overall with neither actually pushing for a time.”
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