Mark Smith-Halvorsen’s GBMoto Honda squad left Donington Park after the first official test of the 2013 BSB season in good spirits after a positive day on track with riders Peter Hickman and Dan Linfoot. The team had a quick shakedown test last week at Snetterton in preparation for the start of the official test season today, however conditions meant that Donington would be the first chance to start making progress. Despite bitterly cold temperatures, the odd spot of rain and even a bit of snow the weather generally held out for the test day, meaning Linfoot and Hickman could make a positive start to the season. The team also unveiled their 2013 livery today, which can be seen below.
Hickman, who posted a fastest time of 1’34.6 on the same hard tyre he’d used all day said: “Really good day today, I class this as the first proper test and the first real day on the GB Moto Honda. We went to Snetterton last week for a shakedown last week but it was very wet and very cold so this was the first day on it really. It felt a bit alien to begin with as any new bike always does but with each session I got more and more comfortable. We put a hard tyre in the back and just lapped and lapped using the one tyre and was quite happy with where we ended up, although it wasn’t about times it was about making myself comfortable on the bike and by the end I was certainly that so it’s all in all been a good day and we’re hoping for more of the same at Brands next week”
Linfoot, riding at Donington for the first time since 2009 posted a 1’36.9. Pushing slightly too hard on a cold tyre saw Linfoot come off his Honda at the famous Craner Curves, fortunately Dan was fine and the bike wasn’t too damaged. Linfoot said: “Nice to get down to serious business today at Donington in the company of the other riders. We made the focus on getting laps in on an unchanged bike to get comfortable. I’m really happy with the package and team around me and look forward to continuing the pre-season work at Brands next week”
Team boss, Mark Smith-Halvorsen reflected: “We’ve had a really good day, it’s as much about getting the crew together and working with the riders as getting the riders out on track. I think the weather, even though the track temperature dropped away towards the end, the day has been brighter and warmer than we thought it might be so that’s been good. We moved in to early suspension settings for both riders, got some Air Bleed settings in place and we’re finding a good chassis direction which is important for both riders. Overall its been a good day, the camp looks happy. We had a small crash for Dan Linfoot today but he’s absolutely fine the bike has minimal damage so it’s all good”.
The team will be back out at Brands Hatch on Tuesday for the second official test. Pics of livery below.