Aragon complete as Byrne and Easton head for Cartagena

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The Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team have completed their opening two days of testing at Aragon in Spain as the former MCE BSB champions now pack up and head to Cartagena to join Swan Yamaha on circuit after a positive opening two days for Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne and Stuart Easton.

The first day on circuit was hampered by strong winds, however the pair had utilised the time to run in the new bikes as they tested the motec ecu for the first time.

However, today the conditions improved enough for both riders to get the real work underway with Byrne clocking up the laps on the Kawasaki whilst Easton ironed out some minor issues in preparation for the next three days on circuit at Cartagena.

Byrne said: “Yesterday was obviously a bit of a difficult day, a combination of a new bike and new track is never easy, but we also had hurricane Katrina join the party! We got a good few laps in to run the new control ecu and just generally run things in.

“That said, it was good to be back on a bike again and with the this team; you wait five or six months to ride and no matter what the conditions this time of year you are gagging to get going! We got out and used the time productively but today has been far more productive.

“It took time this morning for the track temperatures to increase but it did improve although now we are leaving the track it is lovely and calm here! We have done loads of work today and we have been getting a good feel for it. In terms of the changes compared to last year we still have a lot of power when we are on the side of the tyre.

“Should something go wrong we haven’t got that extra room for error, but our job is to make the bike work in a user-friendly way so that we don’t get caught out.

“It has been a good start and you can tell the conditions were better today as we were able to go about two seconds quicker than yesterday! We are now looking to Cartagena where we are on track again tomorrow.”

Easton said: “Today was a lot better weather wise; I had a few niggly problems that we have been working on, really on corner entry and getting on the throttle fuel wise but the boys are working on it.

“I was getting the laps in and I am still a bit hindered as I haven’t been on a bike in such a long time and I am getting my body back into riding again but it does get better the more laps I do. I think tomorrow once we get to Cartagena it will be more relevant as we have experience of that circuit and we have something to compare it to. 

“I then have a week after our tests here to have more physio in preparation for our UK tests. I am looking at the big picture and I am on with it now which is the main thing for me.” 

Team manager Paul Risbridger concluded: “It was a better day today, although it was cold this morning the wind had dropped so it was better testing conditions.

“The boys have worked hard and now they have the electronics going and everything is heading in the right direction ready for the next test. Stuart has obviously been getting used to riding again after a long break and Shakey has started to push on today.

“We were running the GP track layout rather than the Superbike one so it is hard to compare but when we get to Cartagena tomorrow we will have a better idea of where we are at. I do feel though that the whole Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki team have made some good initial progress and we look forward to continuing that again tomorrow.”

Laura Stevens

By Laura Stevens