Samsung Crescent Suzuki Racing has reported a high level of productivity and satisfaction after completing its first day of testing in preparation for the 2011 British Superbike Championship season at Cartagena in Spain.
Starting out on the first of four days of testing, John Hopkins (pictured) and Jon Kirkham were able to lap quickly and consistently as they settled in with their new team.
John Hopkins (Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000) says: "We’ve had a really good, productive first day. The base-settings we started with were good and I quickly felt comfortable with the bike.
"Actually, after five months off a road racer I’ll confess I was ready to stick my leg out on the corners like I do on my dirt bike, so I probably looked a bit awkward for that first session. But I quickly adapted and even in the second session I was starting to chip-away at the settings.
"It was a solid first day; I think we can say we nailed it. I feel really comfortable on the bike and I’m looking forward to getting up-to-speed and seeing what’s to be done then."
Jon Kirkham (Crescent Suzuki GSXR1000) says: "Coming from a Superstock machine, there’s so much to take in; things I’ve not used before – like the electronics package. And these bikes aren’t as forgiving as a Superstock, so I worked on keeping smooth and staying composed.
"I tried not to think about lap times but after I got a good lap in session three, I couldn’t help myself. But it’s not about times right now; the speed will come and it’s a long season – and this is just the first day! I’m really pleased with how it’s all gone."
Jack Valentine (Crescent Suzuki Team Manager) says: "It’s been a productive day. We’ve settled in our new riders, they’ve got a feel for the bike; and for Hopper it was case of getting to know the circuit as well.
"Both riders had plenty to sort, getting the handlebars, levers and everything where they like them. And the team’s a little restructured this year so everyone’s settling into their new roles. There’s no point rushing at this stage; we’ve got four days here and then three more at Guadix. There’s plenty of time to work on speed and bike development."