Tyco Suzuki completed a successful two-day test at Kirkistown in Northern Ireland today with British Superbike riders Josh Brookes and PJ Jacobsen both dipping impressively inside the circuit lap-record on their GSX-R1000s.
But it turned out to be a bittersweet day; both getting caught out by plummeting track temperatures in the afternoon session and both slipping-off within two laps of each other at the County Down venue. Thankfully, only bruised egos and some broken bodywork were the end result, but all in all a very positive opening two days to the 2013 campaign for the team's BSB riders.
New British Supersport recruit Taylor Mackenzie worked tirelessly all day with his new crew as they improved both his set-up on the team's GSX-R600 and his lap times - despite being his maiden visit to the circuit. His dad Niall kept himself warm by running around the old airfield recording footage of TMac in action to assess his track position between sessions.
"The second day has been quite productive again, even though we probably only had half the time out there compared to yesterday. We changed the Öhlins shock setting, which we had a few problems with yesterday, but we've improved it. Yesterday's conditions were freezing and today's were even worse but we've been able to match my lap times which indicate the bike is heading in the right direction.
The weather prohibited us from getting any further on, but taking it into consideration, we did really good. For me it has shown that we have been able to push the bike close to its limits already, which is pretty impressive for a first test, and we both only got caught-out at the end because of the weather. We were both working in the same direction and everything was going well, so I'm happy with what we've done already and look forward to the next test now."
"Everything was working great today up until the crash and as Josh says; we just got caught out with the weather. From sitting on the bike late yesterday morning we have made great progress taking into consideration it was my first run on a Superbike. There's a lot to learn, which I'm happy to admit, but the boys have been great, Richard from Öhlins has done a superb job for us and Josh has also given me some valuable advice, as has Philip Neill. I'll be a bit stiff tomorrow but I'm looking forward to Donington next week as it's a circuit I have good memories of from last season.
"It was another decent day for me. I really enjoyed riding the GSX-R600 and I feel I've clicked with it pretty well. The Kirkistown circuit is a good test for such a short lap and I think both the team and I learned a lot in such a short space of time, considering that I only really got two hours yesterday and half-a-day today. I just want more laps on it, so next week can't come soon enough."
Philip Neill - Team Manager:
"It's never a good sign to arrive at a circuit and be greeted by one of your mechanics carrying a dash in their hand, but I suppose broken bodywork and a bit of scratched metal indicate the start of a new season. On a positive note, a lot has been achieved in such a short space of time for both Josh and PJ and we come away from this with a lot of valuable information, not least from the hard work with Richard from Öhlins these past two days. After a flight delay yesterday and the weather today Taylor also dug in and got through a lot of work, which was encouraging and he too is going in the right direction. We will take these positives to Donington Park next week then onto Brands and Snetterton, after which we should be well ready to race and compete in both classes."
Info from Team Suzuki Press Office - March 6