The JG Speedfit Kawasaki team have completed their first official test ahead of the 2015 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season.
The test, held at Cartagena, allowed the team’s BSB duo of James Westmoreland and James Ellison to get their hands on the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R for the first time in 2015.
Both Ellison and Westmoreland posted lap-times that were quicker than the corresponding tests from 2014 and were left feeling satisfied after testing out some new parts and strategies on the track.
Following the test, Ellison said: “I think the test has been productive, we have learned a lot, working through a lot of things we wanted to do last year during the season and I am really happy with the direction we have ended up with. I have lapped over a second faster than last year on race tyres.
“We have taken a big step forward with chassis settings, which I know will transfer really well to our BSB circuits and I am also pleased with the new engine specification. I am really looking forward to getting to Guadix now to fine tune the bike ready for Donington.”
On the other side of the garage, Westmoreland was also left feeling positive with how he had settled onto the Kawasaki, despite having a nasty-looking crash in the final few moments on the last day of testing.
He said: “I am really happy with the first impressions of the Kawasaki and immediately felt comfortable – already the bike feels like it’s mine. I really like the chassis of the bike and we have found a nice clutch setting over the last two days, which really made the package work well.
“I have adapted quickly to working with the team and it is a great to have the right structure around me. A small mistake in the final few minutes of the four day test has left us some work to do, but I am fit and well and looking forward to Guadix, focussing on the good work we have already done.”
The BSB duo were also joined by GB Moto’s Road racer, Gary Johnson, who will be the team’s representative at the North West 200, Ulster Grand Prix and Isle of Man TT.
Johnson completed laps on both the Superbike and Superstock machines that he will competing on in 2015, under the watchful eye of Kawasaki race engineer, Ichiro Yoda.
Yoda San will be supporting the team with their Road Race effort in 2015 and brings a wealth of experience to the team, having helped lead Kawasaki to their first World Superbike title in 20 years with Britain’s Tom Sykes in 2013.
On the test, Johnson said: “I think it was really good to get to grip with the TT bikes and we have made good steady progress with them. I ended up feeling very much at home on them, particularly the Superbike.
“We have got a list of things to do, to improve again during the next test at Guadix and have agreed a higher specification of build for our Superbike, which should be ready for our test at Donington later this month. Working with top people from the factor has given us knowledge and information that will really help us and I feel we have a great starting point and we will be improving from here.”
The team have now travelled to the Gaudix circuit in Andalusia for a further three days of testing, before coming back to Britain for the official one-day test at Donington Park on March 26.
They will then return to Donington Park for the opening round of the 2015 BSB Championship, which takes place over the Bank Holiday week, with the races themselves taking place on Easter Monday.