HM Plant Honda and Swan Yamaha have made steady progress in developing their British Superbike Championship (BSB) machines at this week's Calafat test.
The BSB front runners made the trip to the Spanish circuit in a bid to gain valuable test mileage and allow their riders to carry out important development work, ahead of the new season.
HM Plant Honda set the pace early on with reigning champion Ryuichi Kiyonari and Shane “Shakey” Byrne both setting creditable lap times. Kiyonari focussed on testing a new engine while Byrne completed several long stints. The pair were both pleased with the performance of their Honda Fireblade.
Kiyonari said: “We tested a new engine for this year and I was very happy with the result and there have been very good improvements. There is still some work to be done but I think we will have more speed.”
Shakey, HM Plant's latest recruit, was equally impressed and is quickly adapting to his new bike.
Byrne said: “I am keen not to compare the bike to what I have previously ridden and I did some longer stints and that was good for me. We have already improved the front end of the bike and worked on the electronics so we are really just chipping away and getting into a groove now.”
Swan Yamaha duo of Tommy Hill and Michael Laverty continued to improve their pace on board their new Yamaha machines, setting times close to HM Plant Honda's pace.
Hill said: “I moved into the one minute 23 second lap times and for a new bike, a new track and a new team we are all very happy and working closely together. We have had several rider and team briefings and that means we are all progressing together, so we feel like we are doing a good job. We are all competitive and obviously want to keep improving but we need to keep remembering to pinch ourselves and remember that it is still early days.”