Racedays Honda welcomes new member in Portimao
The Racedays Honda team is ready at the Autodromo Internacional Algarve in Portugal for this weekend’s racing action in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup and Superstock 600 European Championship.
The team enjoyed a productive test at the 4.592km circuit neat Portimao last weekend when Superstock 1000 riders Kyle Smith and Josh Day focused on refining their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machines.
Meanwhile the Superstock 600 team welcomed a new member, British rider Chrissy Rouse, last season’s Triumph Triple Challenge champion in the UK. The 18-year-old from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who has taken some time away from racing to finish his school exams, took part in the Portimao test on his Honda CBR600RR alongside regulars Kevin Manfredi from Italy and New Zealander Jake Lewis.
The fifth-round 12-lap Superstock 600 race will take place at 17.50 local time on Saturday evening at Portimao, with the Superstock 1000 running over 14 laps at 16.15 on Sunday, immediately after the second World Superbike championship race.
Jeremy McWilliams – team manager
Josh and Kyle are confident to start the weekend with the settings they got in the test. There’s a little bit more work to do on Kyle’s side because he’s a different animal and he demands a lot from the bike, so we need to find something extra to get him comfortable. But the test has really helped both riders. On the 600 side, Kevin was really happy and posting some fast lap times. That was really beneficial because he left Misano a little disappointed that he hadn’t been able to fight nearer the front. We tried some back-to-back things and have a couple more to try but if he went out on his CBR600RR with the settings as they were in the test, he’d be fine. It’s a new experience for Jake to be here on a 600 and he feels the track is quite physical, but he's feeling confident. It’s also brand new for Chrissy but he was getting on really well with the team and the CBR so we're looking forward to seeing how he goes.
It’s a new track for me but it’s really good fun and we worked a lot on the CBR’s set-up and engine braking. We had two days here and I got to know the place quite well and it’s great! We improved a lot but we still need to improve some more when we look at the lap times that have been done here before. We’re looking for a good happy medium to get the engine braking working in each corner, but the bike felt a lot more comfortable at the end of the second day. We’ll know more where we’re at tomorrow and I can’t wait.
I rode here in 2008 and 2011 and at the test last weekend it definitely felt a lot more bumpy and rough than the last time I was here. It’ll be interesting to see if that evens things out a bit and just puts a limit on how fast you can go round here. We struggled a little bit at the start of the test but we got to try various ‘out-of-the-box’ things to improve the setting and we made some headway. The CBR definitely feels better now and I think we got the engine braking in a spot that should feel fine for the whole weekend. That will save us some time during practice, at least, and give us a good starting point. We should be able to just put laps in and fine-tune the setting from where it’s at now.