Steady progress at Calafat

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Swan Yamaha pair Tommy Hill and Michael Laverty both talked about the huge potential of the 2010 factory WSB R1s they will be racing in BSB this year.

After yesterday’s ‘installation’ day at Calafat, ensuring all the electronic systems on the bike were up and running, today was spent exploring chassis set-up and getting the riders comfy on the bikes.

Hill said: “It’s a new team, new bike, new tracks but I think we’ve made massive improvements today. Yesterday the bike felt alien but today we’ve stepped it up massively and we’re matching the times of the Hondas – which is pretty good considering they’ve so much experience with their bike.

“I’m getting used to the blipper throttle system now but there’s so much more to come from the bike.”

Laverty was equally upbeat. He said: “I feel much more at home on the bike now. I’ve adapted my style to suit its characteristics and try to flow through the corners to make the best use of the bike. We’ve still some braking issues but that’s just the balance of the bike, which we can adjust. Overall though, I’m really happy.”

HM Plant Honda duo Ryuichi Kiyonari and Shane Byrne were both happy with their second day of testing.

Defending BSB champion Kiyo spent a lot of time talking to his crew chief Adrian Gorst but Byrne told MCN: “I’m enjoying riding the bike. I’m comfy on it. Maybe we weren’t as productive on it today as we felt we were yesterday though. Right now we’ve got corner entry and corner exit but are lacking mid-corner.

“We had a slight glitch with the fuelling at the first touch of the throttle but Chris (Pike – crew chief) has a fix for that. We also made a fork change late in the day, similar to something Kiyo has.

“I felt straight off it was so much better but, at the same time, it was late in the day and the grip levels were way down but I’m really excited about riding the bike tomorrow.”

The only other rider at the test is Jason O’Halloran on the HM Plant Honda superstock bike and he said: “The power is good and I like the feel of the bike. I’m the only superstock guy here so we’re gauging my laps times off the superbikes. I’m about two to three seconds off so we’re somewhere handy.

“We’ve made two or three clicks to get the rear tyre working consistently but we’ve not needed to touch the front.’

The Calafat test continues tomorrow but MCN is travelling to further down the coast tonight for tomorrow’s first day of the Pro Test at Cartagena featuring more top BSB teams plus some of the leading NW200/TT/UGP competitors.

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Gary pinchin

By Gary pinchin