Scott Redding got his Bennetts British Superbike career off to a perfect start after finishing the first official test of 2019 at the top of the timesheets. Setting his fastest lap of the three day test at Monteblanco in the final session on Friday afternoon, the Be Wiser Ducati man completed 55 laps posting a 1:36.291 best onboard his V4 Panigale.
Redding said: “It’s been good, we’ve done a lot of work and the bike still needs a lot of fine tuning. It’s a good test for me to understand the tyres and how things are working, which I’m really happy with. We did a lot of work with the tyres even in the hot weather even though they don’t work as well as when they are cooler. Now we go to Portimao where we’ll be able to confirm a few things. This is exactly what we need to be doing and I’m like a sponge during these tests to get as much information as possible.”
Jason O’Halloran left the test satisfied after going second fastest onboard the McAms Yamaha R1. The Australian who was fastest on day two ended the test with a 1:39.642 with a time set in the morning session, finishing 0.193 adrift of Redding.
He said: "To be honest it's been a really positive test, we got through a lot of stuff. We worked with a new chassis today, which took a bit of time to dial in but I think it was a positive step. We've still got a bit of a way to go with the rear of the bike, I want to be able to accelerate a little harder off the turns as I feel I'm losing a bit of grip early on. All in all I'm really happy, we did a full race run before lunch and then went out and did three quick laps but I made mistakes on each one! I'm more and more comfortable on the bike and still feel there's lots to improve."
Tarran Mackenzie brushed of a day two high side to set the third fastest lap and like his Yamaha team-mate O’Halloran, his best time also came in the final morning session.
He said: "It's been a good few days. Unfortunately yesterday I had a crash and sat out the rest of the day, but I woke up this morning feeling alright and good to go. I managed to improve my time this morning which was good as in the first couple of runs we went away from the setting we'd been working on and got a little lost! We then went back to what we had on Thursday morning and it was a big improvement. This afternoon we worked on electronics which was good, as last year there were a few problems we had at every round, but we seem to have rectified those and that's been shown at two circuits now. Third overall, it doesn't really mean anything but I'm quite happy with that and looking forward to Portimao."
Glen Irwin was unable to improve his best lap time on the final day, but still impressed and claimed fourth onboard the Quatro Plant JG Speedfit Kawasaki with his lap time posted on the afternoon of the second day.
Honda rider Xavi Fores continued his seamless adaption to BSB after a career in WSB finishing the test fifth fastest with BSB race winner Bradley Ray rounding out the top six riding the Buildbase Suzuki.