The Be Wiser Ducati team are in a positive mood after completing their first pre-season tests – with two days at both Portimao in Portugal followed by a visit to the new Circuit Andalucía in Spain.
Both Shane Byrne and MCE British Superbike rookie Glenn Irwin reported good feedback from the team’s brand-new factory-supported Panigale R machine.
The team have made the switch to Ducati following a few successful seasons with Kawasaki bikes.
Speaking about the tests, Byrne said: “It was fantastic to get back out on track and we had a really productive four days. All credit to the team who were working right up to the test sorting the MoTeC electronics and the bike, even in its very standard form, was fantastic.
“There is so much potential there, it excites me as I know we can make it much, much better. We’ve not looked at the chassis yet, we were just concentrating on fueling and mapping and to see how competitive we were against bikes with full electronics fills us with even more confidence.”
Irwin joins the team following three seasons in the British Supersport Championship. The Northern Irishman finished fourth in the championship last season, with three race wins on the Gearlink Kawasaki machine.
An excited Irwin said: “Getting to ride a factory-backed Ducati is the stuff of dreams and it certainly didn’t disappoint me. It was everything I thought it would be and a little bit more, so me and the team spent the early stages of the test dialling me into the bike.
“Everything about the Be Wiser Ducati is great, the power delivery, the chassis and the brakes, and we have only just started testing. The plan was for me to work on my own and then do a few laps with Shakey, which i found helped with adapting my riding style.”
With the data taken from these first couple of tests, the team will now work with the Ducati Corse factory prior to more testing – which are scheduled to take place over the next couple of months.
Team owner, Paul Bird added: “The move back to our spiritual home of Ducati has commenced, and I’ve heard nothing but good feedback coming back from everyone within the team following the recent test.
“The new Panigale R is a fantastic piece of engineering which we intend making even better with the help of Ducati Corse and I have every confidence that we have made the correct choice of motorcycle for 2016.”
The new BSB season gets underway at Silverstone on April 8.