GSE Racing has continued their countdown to the 2005 British Superbike Championship by completing its first test of the New Year at the Almeria circuit in Spain. Riders James Haydon and Leon Haslam both took part in the four-day test, which was held on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday last week.
Despite tricky weather conditions and cold temperatures which restricted the amount of time on the track, the team was nevertheless pleased with the progress made at the 4km Andalucian circuit. Both riders were able to try various settings for their Ducati 999F04s and gain valuable laps acquainting themselves with their new machines. Representatives from the team's tyre manufacturer, Dunlop, were also present at the test to aid the riders in choosing the most suitable tyres for their 2004 specification Ducatis.
The test marks the second outing for the GSE team as they continue preparations for their return to BSB. Having spent time in Valencia last November, this was another opportunity for riders, technicians and mechanics to build their knowledge and relationships before the final countdown to the season.
GSE Racing Team Manager, Colin Wright was pleased with the positive progress the team has already made since their return. "Although we didn't complete as many laps as we would have liked in Almeria, I'm happy with what we've achieved both on and off the track. With the time spent here and in Valencia, our riders have now got valuable laps under their belt and behind the scenes the team is beginning to gel".
21-year-old Leon Haslam set a fastest time of 1.38.01 during the week and teammate James Haydon recorded a 1.38.03 with both riders happy with their times.
Haslam spoke also of his aims for the season. "I worked hard during the test with my crew and tried many different settings," said the Derbyshire rider.
"I feel comfortable on the Ducati and with the professional set up at GSE, I am very much looking forward to the season. I am also very happy with the way my wrist is healing following the operation I had in the close season".
30-year-old Haydon was also happy with his performance and said: "I'm pleased with what we've achieved- I'm still gaining experience on the 999F04 Ducati and with each lap I feel more comfortable and happier with my performance. Already I can see improvements and am delighted to be riding for GSE, who I'm sure will be hard to beat this year."
The team will return to Spain later this week to get in some further track time at the Guadix circuit. They will then return next month for the MCRCB test at Brands Hatch on 15 March to finalise preparations before the opening race at the Kent circuit on 28th March.
About GSE Racing
Following a season away from the track, GSE Racing's re-entry into the British Superbikes series is hotly awaited and eagerly anticipated by everyone in the paddock.
Having made a big impression from early beginnings competing in the 1998 British Superbikes, GSE Racing has long been one of the most prominent teams in Britain. In 1999-00, they won back-to-back BSB Championships and followed that with highly credible performances in WSB in 2001-3. From winning championships, nurturing future world champions to winning world championship rounds as a privateer, the team has experienced enormous amounts of success throughout its years of racing.
In 2005, they have the ambition and goal of winning the BSB Championship and will provide a fiercely competitive and highly respected team on the grid.
The riders James Haydon and Leon Haslam will also be the sole competitors on Ducatis and with the factory backing of the Italian giants behind the team, GSE will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with.