The HANNspree Ten Kate Honda World Superbike and Supersport teams have completed the final pre-season test in Valencia over the past two days. A previous F1 test at the Spanish track caused a slippery surface. Coupled with wet and windy weather this meant that conditions were far from ideal.
Despite this, the HANNspree Ten Kate Honda riders recorded satisfactory lap times and the team leaves the Spanish circuit well prepared for the first round in Qatar. James Toseland took the opportunity to warm-up for the first race and finished the test with a best lap time of 1:35.40.
His team-mate Roberto Rolfo improved even further from previous tests as he becomes more familiar with the Honda CBR1000RR. The Italian rider gradually reduced his lap time over the two days to end on a final best of 1:36.54.
In the Supersport camp both Sebastien Charpentier and Kenan Sofuoglu continued to get to grips with the new Honda CBR600RR. The two riders secured best lap times of 1:37.90 and 1:37.40 respectively. The new bike is proving to be much quicker than its predecessor and the team is feeling positive about the forthcoming season. With just 11 days to go until Qatar, the whole team now waits in anticipation.
Ronald Ten Kate, Team Manager;
"Even though the track and weather conditions weren't the best we still leave Spain in a positive mood. Despite the circumstances, the Superbike and Supersport lap times were quite fast. This was also a good chance to test on a tighter track compared to the previous tests in Qatar and Phillip Island. We have definitely made improvements over the winter, so now it's time to go racing. We have four riders who are eager to start the season and hopefully we can be up at the front in both classes from the start."
"This test has just been a bit of a shakedown really. We didn't have much to test but it's nice to have a bit of a ride-out before the first race in 11 days time. It was quite breezy out there, but the tyres were pretty good considering the conditions, so I am happy."
"Valencia has been a track that I have had problems with in the past, but if I compare this test to the one we did here last November, my riding has improved a lot. The team has also taken a big step forward and we were much quicker to understand what we needed to do to the bike. The lap time I did this morning was much closer to the top times in World Superbike, so I am happy with that."
"The conditions were bad because of the F1 test and the weather, but every day I learn more about the new bike. I am happy with the test overall and confident about the first race. I think it is possible for me to finish on the podium."
"We have experienced a few problems in this test, particularly with the bad conditions. However, I am feeling very happy and we are still setting better lap times than before. I am really looking forward to Qatar. We have done some good testing and I feel more confident with the bike."