Rizla Suzuki racers Scott Smart and John Reynolds rose to the challenge of damp and wet weather riding for the first time this year when they took part in an Official British Superbike test at Oulton Park.
The morning session was declared dry but spitting rain kept everyone's times well off lap record pace, with Smart sixth and JR seventh on the time sheets behind fastest man Michael Rutter on a Honda. The afternoon session at the Cheshire track was held in full wet rain conditions.
British Superbike Champion JR, still on the mend following a broken right leg sustained in a pre-season testing crash, said: "The variable weather has made for a miserable day. I decided not to go out in the second wet session at all.
"The first session was dryer, but the rain kept spitting down; meaning that I never felt comfortable committing fully to a fast lap. I have a good base setting on my Rizla Suzuki and will come back here in two weeks time happy and ready to race.
"Perhaps the most important thing today was the difference in my attitude to riding now I know my right leg is healing. I'm getting fitter every day and can't wait to be racing at the front of the pack again."
Smart worked through a raft of suspension changes and also tested his wet weather set-up. He crashed unhurt just three laps into his wet test at Druids and didn't go out on track again.
"We got through quite a bit of suspension testing this morning and that was very useful," explained Smart. "I could really have done with the second session staying dry to complete more testing, but the rain decided to pay us a visit.
"I went out on my wet weather set-up and found it was pretty good - the rear end was hooking up brilliantly. The front end felt a bit vague and I was coming in to make some changes when I lost it. I've got bruised ankles and I feel as though I've been slapped in the face, but apart from that I'm fine. Aside from the crash, I feel like we've continued to move forward from the progress we made at Thruxton last week."
Rizla Suzuki travels to Mallory Park for the third round of the British Superbike Championship on Sunday April 24th. Both JR and Scott won a race apiece at the Leicestershire track in 2004 and will arrive there in positive spirits after learning more about their GSX-R1000s in today's test.
Oulton Park Test Times:
- 1: Michael Rutter (Honda) 1:39.481
- 2: Karl Harris (Honda) +0.154
- 3: Dean Thomas (Kawasaki) +0.182
- 4: Glen Richards (Kawasaki) +0.375
- 5: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +0.908
- 6: SCOTT SMART (RIZLA SUZUKI) +1.343
- 7: JOHN REYNOLDS (RIZLA SUZUKI) +1.352
- 8: Jon Kirkham (Kawasaki) +1.602
- 9: Steve Brogan (Honda) +2.008
- 10: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +2.452