JG Speedfit Kawasaki riders, James Ellison and James Westmoreland completed their pre-season schedule today at the official MCE British Superbike Championship one-day test at Donington Park.
Following a busy winter in Spain, which included tests at both Cartagena and Gaudix, the team made their first UK appearance of the year in front a large Donington crowd.
The test allowed the team to off their brand new livery for the first time, which was well received by both fans and sponsors.
Both Ellison and Westmoreland focused on refining their race pace ahead of the new season, with Ellison managing to post consistent lap-times during a 30 lap stint on one set of Pirelli tyres.
Despite both riders having to sit-out the morning session due to the damp conditions, they left the track feeling happy with the progress made in the afternoon.
Ellison ended up finishing sixth on the timing sheet, posting a lap-time of 1m31.448s, which was 0.303s behind reigning champion, Shane Byrne, who ended the day top of the leaderboard.
Ellison said: “I’m feeling really positive after today, even though the weather played against us a bit with the cold and strong winds, we were still able to get through everything we wanted. We actually managed to use the same tyre for well over race duration as well, putting in some good times so I’m really confident we’ll be up there next weekend.
“We tried to put in a final lap time right at the end of the session, and I was actually well under my previous best at the half way mark on my flyer but with it was really busy and unfortunately I just got baulked at the Melbourne loop.”
Westmoreland finished just outside the top 10, in 12th position, with a lap-time of 1m32.251s as he continues to adapt to the Kawasaki ZX-10R.
He said: “It’s been another great test and I’m feeling very confident on the bike now. We sat out the first two sessions today as with the weather the way it was we wouldn’t have learnt anything and I didn’t want to risk it ahead of next weekend.
“We’ve found some small areas to work on ahead of coming back here, so I’m confident we’ll be up there from the start. It was also great to be out in the new livery today, I genuinely think we have one of the best looking bikes on the grid!”
The efforts of both riders, along with all members of the JG Speedfit Kawasaki Team, were praised by team principal, Mark Smith Halvorsen, once the test had been completed.
He said: “It was great to be back in the paddock and at a relevant track, where we could finish up our testing programme in typical British weather! Both guys appear very confident and we know we have the pace so I’m incredibly confident that when the action starts properly next weekend, we’ll be ready to fight for our first win.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the whole of the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team for their work this winter. They’ve built two highly competitive motorcycles for the guys and they’ve worked tirelessly to do so. I would also like to say a huge thanks to all our sponsors who came to Donington today, despite the weather and it being testing, it was great to see them here and be so involved.”
The next time that the team visit Donington Park will be for the opening round of the 2015 BSB Championship which takes place between 4-6 April.