The Tyco TAS Suzuki team braved a cold windswept Kirkistown, County Down yesterday (Tuesday) for their first shakedown test of the 2012 season.
Aussie Josh Brookes and local hero Alastair Seeley were riding their BSB bikes with the new 2012-spec engine configuration and Motec spec ecu, while Conor Cummins was riding his GSX-R1000 superstock bike.
Guy Martin was absent from the test and is not scheduled to join the team for testing until later this month.
Brookes completed 82 laps, Cummins 65 and Seeley 54 – all of them without any technical issues.
The official lap record at the 1.53mile Kirkistown circuit is held by Cameron Donald at 55.6s but Seeley’s unofficial 54.2s in perfect conditions during testing last year is normally a good benchmark.
But with the track temperature hovering between five and seven degrees, Seeley’s best lap of 56.5 was especially impressive first time out on the new-spec BSB bike considering the conditions!
The British Supersport champion said: “It’s good to get a feel for a superbike again. The track temperature today has been way down so we can’t push to the kind of lap times we know we can achieve here but it’s been good to blow away the cobwebs.
"It’s good to gel with the crew and I’ve got the three olders guys on the team in my corner this year. Older, wiser and hopefully that equates to a championship-winning effort!”
Josh Brookes clocked up the most laps. Even though the Tyco Suzuki looked like the same bike that he had finished the 2011 season in such competitive form, detail changes to the set-up meant it took him a while to settle.
“I expected to just jump on the bike and it to be my old love but it didn’t work out that way. But it’s been a good first day. We had no moments, no mechanical issues – just a good safe run around.
"With the new (Motec spec) ecu I expected to be in and out of the garage all day with little sensor glitches but the bike ran perfectly. I feel like we’ve got the ball rolling now.”
Conor Cummins’ bike was essentially a road-going GSX-R, the basis of his superstock race bike but to say he was over the moon with how the bike worked would be a massive understatement.
“Job’s a dream,” he said. “I’m well pleased considering it’s a road bike with a different fairing and a can on it. There’s so much room to move around on the bike.
"It’s ideal for me. I’m 100% happy with this first day on the bike and can’t wait to be heading down the Glencrutchery Road on it!”