Feb 8, 2013
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THE freight is on its way to Philip Island for round one so we are nearly ready to get started.
PTR as always did not test before January as we prefer to concentrate on getting the next year bike to its peak before testing. My view has always been what is the point of testing last year's bike? Testing costs more than actual racing so we have to maximise our testing time with new development.
Now I know a number of Supersport teams have done more testing than us and with the modern media of Twitter and Facebook we all know everyone's view almost in real time. I agree Kenan will start as one of the favourites if not the favourite for the title but we are happy with our testing and current position. We have not made proud boasts that we are going to take the fight to Kenan or that he will be facing an even stronger PTR Honda team, that is not our style.
We are happy with the progress we made during the winter and with our testing performance on track. As with all teams we did not get as much dry track with really good conditions as we would have liked, but we had some dry and wet time. With us changing to Bitubo suspension this in the end worked very well for us to confirm a wet and dry base setting for round one. You may all think that is a PR spin as all teams do, but this in our case is the real truth. I could not have asked for more from my boys and the team continues to go from strength to strength - despite rider and a couple of staff changes we are stronger than ever and all up for the fight.
I am not sure if any of the other Supersport teams have gone out to Australia early to get even more testing ahead of the official tests on Monday and Tuesday. Either way we all have two sessions of 1.5hours each on both days, so if we are not ready for Philip Island by then we never will be. We then have two days to make any changes before practice and qualifying, then it's time for all the talking to stop as the lights go out on Sunday the 24th. Then we will all see exactly where we are in the whole scheme of things.
With 35 full time riders and six different manufacturer machines on the grid things are looking really good for Supersport despite the difficult financial times we all find ourselves in. The depth of field should give us even more competitive racing than before, which will be good for us as teams and I hope you the fans. There was some great racing last year, especially from a PTR point of view, and lets all hope for more of the same and better this year.
I know we will all be considering new rules for 2014 but please let's all take a look at the current rules as they cannot be far off. There is less support for teams in WSS compared to the MotoGP paddock and less TV coverage makes it harder for us to bring backing in. With this in mind and still 35 riders on the grid, I would once again like to ask the people in the right places to consider Supersport rules for the Superbike class.
In WSS it is possible for a private team to compete with the factory teams as we at PTR have proved over the last three years. I am sure under Supersport rules PTR could consider moving up to Superbike along with some other very good WSS teams. Maybe this way both classes would have a good grid and with the right team you would have the chance to fight for victory in Superbike as well.
Under current Superbike rules a private team has no chance even if it has the right budget. With talk of more production based rules in our paddock, let's not go too far as WSS is proving all makes can compete under the restricted engine tuning rules which are not so standard that whoever has the flavour of the year road bike wins.
I also still think there is a definite case for the stock classes to become full production racing, thus maintaining the classes and making a distinct difference between Stock and the Supersport and Superbike classes.