Rutter and Hickman testing in Spain

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The newly renamed MSS Bathams Kawasaki squad are now in Spain undergoing three days of intensive training at the Alcarras circuit with all four of their Superbike and Superstock riders.

With an all new rider line-up and crew plus exciting title sponsorship from Bathams Brewery, the squad is fully fired up for the equally new MCE British Superbike rule specifications for 2012.

The team travelled down over the weekend to maximise their tracktime and overlay last year’s data, which was gained by running an Evo spec machine at several BSB rounds, to ascertain the standard of the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R under these new regulations.

The testing will benefit from the skilled development and analysis of seasoned professional Michael Rutter, backed up by his Superbike teammate Peter Hickman, who was so impressive last season in BSB.

The test will also help with a shakedown for the Bathams TT Superbike which Rutter will be campaigning in the major roads events, including the Isle of Man TT, North West 200 and Macau GP, which he has won an incredible seven times.

Michael’s ongoing support from Bathams has lead to the renowned brewery becoming title sponsor of the Colchester based squad for 2012.

The one-man, one-lady Superstock squad will also be getting in important practice on a machine which proved itself exceptionally well last season, as it was piloted to victories by MSS riders.

Leon Hunt and Sandra Stammova are looking for good results after their class debuts last year with both riders now attracting interesting support from a number of outside sponsors (more to follow!)

MSS Bathams Kawasaki Team Manager Nick Morgan commented: “It’s great to get out testing in Spain and all the better to get three intensive days on circuit.

“Our Superbike riders are experienced enough to give us good feedback on new components but the good news is we aren’t starting from scratch as the bike had been run in this 2012 engine spec in some BSB rounds last year, so we know the base parameters.

“We’ll be working on understanding the one-spec Motec ECU that will affect tyre life with no traction control. Both Leon and Sandra raced a Kawasaki in Superstock last year and will be ready to step it up for this season, on a bike we all know is very competitive in this class.

“Finally, before we get down to business a big thank you to the guys from Bathams Brewery who have stepped up to become title sponsors of the team.

“Obviously we’re still based out of Colchester Kawasaki which is now owned by Motorcycles Direct and I think we’ll always be associated with the city, so we’ll never lose that link just with a name change. Right, let’s get testing!”

All four riders will complete testing of new parts and carrying out race simulations to ascertain tyre wear over the three day test, before returning to Britain for two more UK outings.

The MCE British Superbike series kicks off at Brands Hatch on Easter weekend 7-9th April.

Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin