Don’t under-estimate the Blade
Former British champ Matt Llewellyn needed just 10 minutes on board the Motopower FireBlade to decide it was the bike for him for the 2002 British superbike series.
The 34-year-old said: " The bike shocked me. It took just a couple of laps of Bruntingthorpe to appreciate the incredible stomp of the engine. I rode V&M’s Formula One TT-spec R1 last year, but this puts it in the shade. I’m well aware the Ducatis will start the season as well-developed packages, but the Blade handles like a dream and I know the team is still developing the motor. Everyone is looking at the Blade as a rank outsider, but being an underdog suits me! "
Motopower is already claiming 180bhp at the rear wheel for the Supersport-tuned motor.
Before Llewellyn signed for MotoPower, the team tested Sean Emmett and Paul Brown, but both turned down offers to join. Team boss Russell Savory, however, is delighted they did. He said: " I know people scoff at the thought of a Blade being competitive, but Matt’s hungry and he is desperate to prove he’s still competitive on a superbike. Now he’s ridden ours I know he shares our view of being on the podium every race. "
Llewellyn’s team-mate will be Gary Mason.
MORE ON THIS IN MCN ON FEBRUARY 6, 2002.