WFR Honda and MSS Kawasaki Alcarras test

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Pre-season testing continued yesterday (Tuesday) at Alcarras for the WFR Honda and MSS Bathams Kawasaki MCE BSB teams as the riders ended their penultimate day on track.

The WFR Honda trio have now been on track for five days and the hard work resumed today for Alex Lowes, James Westmoreland and Graeme Gowland as they made further progress with the air bleed system on the Fireblades and continued to work on clutch settings.

Lowes continued to opt for shorter runs on track in his quest to improve corner entry speed, whilst Westmoreland focused on running to race distance to test consistency.

Lowes said: “We were able to test some new chassis changes this morning and we got down to some good times. This afternoon we then made some changes to try and improve corner entry speed so we did a lot of shorter runs so we could then understand which direction we need to go tomorrow for the last day here in Alcarras.”

Westmoreland said: “We have made another day of progress, especially with the air bleed system and the clutch settings so that has been positive. This afternoon we then tried some big chassis changes and we had a good understanding of what to do tomorrow when we put it all together.

“I did do a race run at the end of the day and the times remained consistent so I am feeling mega on the bike. We will see what the final day tomorrow brings.”

Gowland said: “It has been another good day; I have just been getting through some new clutch settings again today.

The WFR Honda is feeling really good and I just want to end tomorrow with the best possible set up so we are ready for the start of the season.”

MSS Bathams Kawasaki also returned to track for their second day at the Spanish circuit and Michael Rutter was able to make up for lost ground yesterday with his time focused on the new Superbike.

‘The Blade’ had been waiting on some new parts that arrived late yesterday but believes improvement will continue with more laps on the Kawasaki as he adjusts to the new machine. Hickman was able to slash 1.5 seconds off his best time from the opening day on track as he focused on suspension changes.

Rutter said: “It was a busy day after not getting many laps yesterday but I think the hard work paid off. We did go full circle with some of the changes and ended up going back to what we had started in some cases but at least we have ruled those out now.

“I just need to spend more time on the bike to feel more comfortable as it is different to what I have been used to, but that is always the case when you switch bikes. It was a hectic day but we are definitely further forward and we really need to do the same again tomorrow.”

Hickman said: “I am still buzzing about the past two days; everything is mint! It has been good today to get in lots of laps, it is a long track here but we have done about 45 laps and I am about 1.5 seconds faster at the end of today than I was yesterday.

“We have been lapping under the Spanish Superbike lap record here and today we have made a few changes to the suspension settings to push on again, which was good. Tomorrow is our last day here so we are going to do some work on the clutch and then hopefully we can be as positive as we are now.”

Laura Stevens

By Laura Stevens