Rizla Suzuki's Shane 'Shakey' Byrne topped the timesheets at today's official Bennetts British Superbike test at Oulton Park in Cheshire.
The circuit was damp for the first of the three sessions and after a wet pre-season test programme Shakey decided to stay in the garage. He went out in the next two dry sessions and was easily the fastest rider on the circuit.
James Haydon tested a new prototype Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 and finished third on the official time sheets. He was impressed by the new bike that will now go back to the workshop for further modifications before it is tested and raced later in the season.
Despite finishing first and third on the official timesheets, both Rizla Suzuki racers admitted to missing the chicane on their fast laps. Telemetry from the team shows that Shakey's fastest lap was actually 1:36.500, still the quickest of the day. James's quickest time on team telemetry was 1:38.400, relegating him from third to fifth overall.
Rizla Suzuki returns to Oulton Park in just over one week on Bank Holiday May 1st for the fourth round of the Championship.
Niall Mackenzie, Race Operations Manager:
"It's great to be at the top of the timesheets again even if it is just a test. Shakey is riding really well and is his usual cocky, confident happy self. He finished the day with the fastest time but came straight into the garage and got down to work with his mechanics on how to improve his lap times further.
"James used a prototype bike with a new fuel cell and a much different centre of gravity than he is used to. He has given the team a lot of constructive feedback and we will develop this bike further before we debut it at a race meeting later in the season. He will revert to the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 he used at Thruxton for the next races.
"It's a shame Ducati was not at the test but our target for the moment is to beat or at least compete with the Honda teams and we are achieving that. We want to return here next week and take the next step, which is to fight for the podium in the races."
Official Test Times:
- 1: Shane Byrne (Suzuki) 1:35.977
- 2: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +1.278
- 3: James Haydon (Suzuki) +2.000
- 4: Michael Rutter (Honda) +2.206
- 5: Karl Harris (Honda) +2.460
- 6: Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +2.720