Watanabe first test on Relentless Suzuki

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Atsushi Watanabe got his first laps in on the Relentless by TAS Suzuki today at Kirkistown but any chance of meaningful testing was wrecked by torrential rain and freezing cold temperatures.

The Japanese star managed just four laps in the wet, on slicks, purely for pictures while team-mate Ian Lowry was lucky enough to get a handful of laps on a dry track before the rain came down.

The conditions changed in the afternoon and Watanabe was able to complete a full test of 80 laps.

Phil McNeil said: "When we got up and looked at the weather forecast we were unhappy, but we were pleasantly surprised when it changed dramatically.

"Both Ian Lowry and Atsushi Watanabe got a good run on the bikes."

The team are planning to test at Brands Hatch on Thursday.

They’ll be on track with MSS Kawasaki duo Julien Da Costa and Simon Andrews and Jentin Lloyds British Yamaha rider John Kirkham.

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Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin