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Mar 3, 2014

British Teams Heading To Spain To Test At Cartagena Circuit

Alastair Seeley on his Mar-Train Racing Yamaha YZF-R6.


Milwaukee Yamaha will hit the track for the first time in 2014 this week as the team begin their pre-season testing campaign with the returning Tommy Bridewell and the much-anticipated debut of Josh Brookes ahead of the Easter opening round of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch.

The team head to the Spanish circuit of Cartagena to begin their first test of the new season with Bridewell preparing to build on his experience with the team from the final three rounds of 2013, when he scored an impressive three podium finishes. The Spanish test marks Brookes’ debut with the team as he get his first opportunity to test the Yamaha after spending the winter back home in Australia.

Brookes said: “The first test is what I was looking forward to about coming back from Australia and I can’t wait to get started. The first time out on the Milwaukee Yamaha is an opportunity for me to get to know the bike and the team and start the process of learning all the new elements for this year. I obviously want to be going out and setting competitive times and if we can be fastest then great, because everyone always has to aim to be at the front, but it isn’t the most important thing on day one. I do tend to have a unique personality so it is good that we have the time at testing for the team to get to know me and I am excited about riding the Yamaha for the first time. I have always ridden bikes from different manufacturers so to me it has handlebars and two wheels and I want to grab hold of it and get on with the job now. I am going to let it come to me at the first test and then we can push on.”

Bridewell said: “The test couldn’t come soon enough for me as I am really ready to get the season started. I am not going to be aiming to break the lap record straight away but I certainly see the test as myself and the Milwaukee Yamaha team starting our assault on the championship. In the past there has been a lot of talk about times and how everyone is shaping up but I am just looking at what I can do. It has been a long winter and although I did three rounds with the team last season I still feel that I have more to learn about the Yamaha and that is what is exciting me about testing. We also have the new 17” wheels to test and get back into riding again after a winter of training and motocross. I feel ready to go now and it is important to start the season off in the best possible way.”

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More, from a press release issued by Mar-Train Racing:


After three successful days at Almeria in Spain with new recruit Alastair Seeley, British Supersport champions Mar-Train Racing, will now move up the Spanish coast to Barry Symmons’ Pro Test at Cartagena for a further four days later this week.

Seeley complete laps on the team’s British Supersport Yamaha R6 machine at Almeria and also started his familiarisation process with the Mar-Train Superstock and Superbike ZX10R Kawasakis.

Seeley’s lap times were impressive as expected, but he raised a few eyebrows in the Mar-Train camp when he dipped half a second under former team member Jack Kennedy’s best-ever time at the circuit in only his first session, as the Ulsterman explained.

Seeley said: “I did a couple of laps on the team’s British Supersport bike pretty much the way it left Brands after winning the championship and the only thing I changed were footpeg and handlebar positions.

“The boys tell me I was half a second under Jack’s best time so it sets us up well for the start of the year when we can be doing that in our first test. I just couldn’t fault that wee bike.”

Recounting his ‘big bike’ runs he added: “The weather was far from perfect for the three days with heavy winds and a bit of rain, but we overcame a few little problems with chatter. It was all about finding the correct Metzeler tyre combinations, but I think we’ve solved the problem, although we will have another day on the ZX10s at Cartagena this week.”

Giving credit to his new team, Seeley concluded: “Andy Jamison and Boost are real grafters and I feel like I’ve been with the team a lot longer than one three-day test. I’m now looking forward to heading out on Wednesday morning with team owner Tim Martin and getting some more valuable miles in on all three bikes.”

Team Manager Tim Martin said: “Almeria did what we expected for a shakedown test and the Pirelli/Metzeler guys worked with us to help Alastair find a suitable combination. He took to the R6 Yamaha as I thought he would, and it’s now a matter of keeping the head down and working hard so we can hit the ground running at the opening round at Brands over Easter. This week is going to be busy again but it’s all about collecting as much information as possible and getting Alastair as comfortable as he can be on all three bikes. But so far so good for.”