Spanish Sun turns to Leicestershire Chill.
A week of warm weather testing at the Cartagena circuit in southern Spain got the team dialled in for the new season. Danny Buchan getting comfortable on our Kawasaki Superbike and Lee Jackson getting the feel for the new to him ZX10-RR Superstock 1000 machine. We’d hopped to get Matt Bower out on his Junior Supersport Ninja 400 but Nick Morgan at MSS Performance was still flat out converting the bike to race spec.
Next stop a very cold Donington Park for the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship launch and test day. The Superbike stayed in the garage but Lee got in some useful laps on the Stocker and at last Matt got to turn a wheel on his Junior Supersport bike. Both were pleased and gave positive feedback.
We are all looking forward to a strong season.
Round One. Donington Park
Back to Donington for the ‘real’ start to the season. Once again, the weather Gods were protesting. Cold, wet and snow on the way….
At least our bikes and garage set up were looking resplendent in their new livery, featuring some bold highlights in luminous Kawasaki green. The Superbike was looking particularly good in is MotoGP style matt paint finish.
The team members were looking very smart too, all in our corporate Kawasaki uniforms.
Thanks to everyone who is supporting the team this year, we couldn’t do it without you. Look them up on the sponsor page on our website.
Lee Jackson. Pirelli National Superstock 1000. ZX10-RR.
A steady first practice session bedding in front brake discs and continuing to become familiar with the bike. Lee was taking no risks. By the late afternoon session, the temperature had dropped to 4 degrees and although the track was a bit dryer it was still very damp in places and greasy. Undeterred, Lee got stuck in and ran in the top 10 throughout the session, starting to get a real feel for the suspension set-up.
Early Sunday morning qualifying – a bit colder but no wind. Still a few damp patches left over from Saturday. Lee ended up lower down than he’d hoped and expected. He was still searching for a front brake set up to suit his requirements. P21.
Into the two-part Donington 100 race – reduced to two 13 lap segments – and Lee battled up to P13 with a lap time good enough for twelfth on the grid for part-two. The second run nearly ended in disaster as Sam Clark crashed on the exit from Goddards. He almost collected Lee, who as a result lost a couple of seconds and half a dozen places as he took avoiding action. In the end a solid P15 was his reward for a sensible ride.
P14 on the grid for Monday’s one-part race on a very wet track. In the end Lee came home P11 after a spirited race with former champion Alastair Seeley.
Lee’s weekend had been more of an extended test, because of the weather and, so far, limited running on the bike. The good news is he loves the power and handling of his ZX10-RR and we’ve isolated the two-key areas to work on – the main one being braking feel. Having the 2017 Superstock 1000 champion (Danny!) on the other side of the garage is a big help when it comes to information to help fine-tune the bike.