The JG Speedfit Kawasaki team have started their 10-day testing programme ahead of the 2016 MCE British Superbike season.
The squad flew over to Jerez today for a two-day test following an impressive few months for the team in the rider’s market – bringing in Leon Haslam and Peter Hickman to partner James Ellison.
The two-day test is the first time that the riders will get their hands on the new superbike spec Kawasaki ZX-10R machine. Their last test in November was on-board a hybrid version on the bike.
For Haslam this will be his very first time on a Kawasaki superbike and the former World Superbike race winner cannot wait to get out onto the track.
He said: “It feels like a lifetime since I last rode a bike, so I really can’t wait to get out at Jerez. The JG Speedfit Kawasaki deal came together quite late so this is probably the longest I’ve gone without riding a superbike – but I’m not worried at all, the team have an impressive testing schedule in place before Silverstone and the guys have already shown just how competitive the new ZX-10R can be.
“Having the likes of James and Pete in the team is going to be great and whilst we’re certainly going to be pushing each other throughout the season, it’s really going to help in testing as we can work together to get the bike set.”
At the November test Ellison managed to lap quicker than he did on the 2015 Kawasaki – a bike that took him to three victories and nine podiums.
Following time over in America with his family – as well as sticking to his training programme – Ellison is now eager to get back on the bike in Spain.
He said: “Put simply, I can’t wait! We had a really good test in November on what was a fairly stock version of the bike, so I’m excited to try the full superbike. Obviously we’re still working and learning on various aspects of the bike, such as the Showa suspension, but with more testing planned than we’ve ever had before I know we’re going to be in a great position come Silverstone.
“This year is looking incredibly strong, so we’re under no illusions as to what it will take to win.”
Hickman also showed plenty of pace at the November test and he is looking forward to getting his hands on the full superbike spec ZX-10R.
He said: “Last time I rode the JG Speedfit Kawasaki, I had just some off a road circuit, on a different manufacturer with different tyres and to a circuit I hasd never ridden at some it was a steep learning curuve. Even then I could tell the bike had potential and the guys back at the workshop have been working flat out since then so I’m really looking forward to trying the full superbike spec of the ZX-10R – particularly now I know the Jerez circuit a bit.”
Following the Jerez test, the team will go to Aragon for a further two days on February 3 – 4 before returning to the UK for more development win the workshop.
This is followed by trips to Cartagena and Guadix in March for two three-day tests as the team look to challenge for the title in 2016.