Weather doesn’t dampen spirits at Brands Hatch BSB test

Milwaukee Yamaha rider James Ellison in action at Brands Hatch

Photo: British Superbikes/Glen Coombs

In somewhat different conditions to the bright sunshine that greeted the the BSB paddock at Donington Park last Thursday, the weather at Brands Hatch today provided less than ideal conditions for the second official test. Riders looking to get meaningful mileage under their belts were left disappointed that the great British weather had let them down once again.

The sessions today were ‘Open 1000cc’ which saw the senior class share track time with the Superstock 1000 machines and with the weather as it was it meant the STK riders times were comparable with their more illustrious fellow riders. Riders of note in the National class were James Egan, Richard White, Kyle Wilks and Sam West who put in great displays to keep towards the sharp end of the times across the day.

In the case of two of the top teams, Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki and Tyco Suzuki, neither of their riders ventured out on circuit today, saying there was nothing worthwhile to be gained from going out in the current conditions. However, the other teams present all took advantage of the cold and damp conditions to continue with the work undertaken at the Leicestershire circuit just five days previous.

Milwaukee Yamaha duo Josh Waters and James Ellison made good progress by appearing in almost every session of the day with Josh familiarising himself with Brands Hatch Indy circuit ahead of the opening round in just over two weeks time and Ellison continuing to get to grips with his new Yamaha R1, both riders seemed happy with their work-rate which should stand them in good stead for when the season begins in earnest.

Rapido Sport Racing Ducati’s Matteo Baiocco

Photo: British Superbikes/Glen Coombs

James Ellison made the early running at the top of the time sheets in the but hot in his tyre tracks was Rapido Sport Racing Ducati rider Matteo Baiocco, showing the kind of pace that earned him the ride in the championship. As the day progressed it was Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki’s evergreen Chris Walker who took over the timesheets, the inclement weather specialist muscling his ZX-10R round the track to take the fastest time of the day in Session 5 with a best lap of 51.410s. The Samsung Honda pair of Alex Lowes and Ryuichi Kiyonari only completed a handful of exploratory laps without risking bike or self damage with the curtain-raiser being so close, Kiyo also took advantage of the lack of track time to do a feature with Shane Byrne, no doubt promoting ‘the war for four’, as the 2013 is billed as.

Former World Superbike campaigner Jakub Smrz, headed the time sheets in the sixth and final session of the day, the still to be confirmed as permanent Padgetts Honda rider, along with Walker, helped light up a dismal day for the fans present in Kent by tripping the speed traps to post the top speeds of the day in what could possibly be a ride-sealing display.

The teams move on now to the Snetterton 300 circuit in Norfolk for a two day test session to complete the official schedule ahead of re-convening at Brands Hatch in early April, however the weather is set to remain cold and inclement tomorrow with the possibility of some snow overnight tonight, sadly not the most ideal of conditions once again.


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