Chris Walker ended the official BSB test day at Brands Hatch with the fastest time after setting a 51.410 in the fifth and final session of the day. The Quattro Plant rider upped his pace throughout the day to go third fastest in the penultimate session before excellng in the final session to go fastest.
The test took place on an initially wet track and with only minimal air and ground temperatures, it took a long time to dry. The majority of the Superbike, Supersport and Superstock riders spent most of the day circulating on full wets and were only able to switch to dry weather tyres in the final sessions.
Second fastest on the day with a time also set in the final session was new Padgetts Honda signing Jakub Smrz. In only his second ride on the CBR1000RR after a WSB career primarily on Ducati’s, the Czech rider is adapting quickly to the 1000cc inline four.
He said: “I moved to slicks as early as I could in the day, to start with it wasn’t good for lap times but I was still able to test a few things. At Donington last week we were able to improve the bike under braking. Here we are trying to control the front better on the exit of the corners and keep it on the ground, which is very important around here!”
Walker’s Quattro Plant Kawasaki team-mate Danny Buchan claimed the third fastest time on board his ZX-10R with three time BSB champion Ryuichi Kiyonari in fourth.
James Ellison ended the test fifth fastest. He said: “I’m just happy to be out on a bike again, other than the Donington test last week I haven’t ridden a race bike since Valencia MotoGP last year. It’s feels good to be out and it’s nice to feel that buzz again of riding.
“It’s been a steady day, but productive. We’re obviously running of the pace but we’ve still been able to do work on the fueling. Yeah it’s wet and cold, but this is England and these are the conditions that we sometimes have to race in.”
Title favourites Shane Byrne and Josh Brookes were present throughout the test, but elected not to ride given the conditions. They did however venture out for two laps along with Kiyonari following a pace car for a photoshoot. You can see the pictures in MCN 8-page BSB season preview supplement out on Wednesday 27March.
1 Chris Walker
Quattro Plant Kawasaki
2 Jakub Smrz
3 Danny Buchan
Quattro Plant Kawasaki
4 Ryuichi Kiyonari
5 James Ellison
6 Jenny Tinmouth
Two Wheel Racing Honda
7 Matteo Baiocco
Rapido Sport Racing Ducati
8 Josh Waters
9 Lee Costello
Halsall Racing Kawasaki
10 Peter Hickman
GBmoto Racing Honda