Tyco Suzuki has completed four successful days of testing at Cartagena in Spain [Sunday, March 9] with new British Superbike stars John Hopkins and Josh Waters engaging-well with their new team-mates and gelling-quickly with their #21 and #12 Tyco Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbikes.
Both men posted confidence-inspiring lap-times over the four days working with their new crews, and more-importantly made steady progress all round, which sets the American and Aussie up well for the official BSB tests – prior to the opening round of 2014 over the Easter period.
Despite a high-speed crash on day two - and being a little bit battered and bruised - the team’s British Supersport rider Taylor Mackenzie was able to complete the four-day test with some impressive lap times.
International Road Racer William Dunlop joined the party on day three and worked through some strategic changes on his Superbike and Supersport machines, prior to his opening race of the year at Cookstown 100 at the end of April.
“I think the test was really positive. We definitely achieved what we aimed to achieve - which was to get comfortable on the bike again and get myself back-up-to-speed. With so long away from racing, I didn’t have extreme expectations at Cartagena, but we met every expectation that I had set myself and maybe a bit more; and the base setting on the Tyco Suzuki was really good.
“The boys did a great job with the bike right off the bat. We hardly changed anything over the course of the four days. Yeah, we made some minor tweaks and adjustments to smooth things out, which then helped me to lower my lap-time on each of the four days, so yeah it was very successful. It’s a great team and I’ve always enjoyed hanging out with guys from Northern Ireland so it’s been really positive.”
“After such a long time off the bike over the winter it was good to have four days with the Tyco Suzuki boys and be back on a GSX-R1000 Superbike. It’s a really strong team and I’ve already settled-in well and feel relaxed and confident. We made progress over the four days and it also gave me time to work with my new crew.
“I’ve also gelled really well with Hopper as a team-mate and we had a lot of fun at Cartagena. The goal is to work together this season, which will only make both of us stronger. I’m now really looking forward to a positive second season in British Superbike with a great bunch of guys.”
“After a big crash I was just pleased to be able to get the final two days of testing completed on the GSX-R600 Tyco Suzuki. All the boys in the team are mega and everyone got on great. It’s obviously my second season, but Hopper, Josh Waters and William Dunlop have all fitted-in well, so it should be a good year all round. The test also gave me a chance to work with my new mechanic Alister Russell and along with my crew chief Derek Huxley, we couldn’t ask for more from an opening test.”
“Cartagena was another opportunity for me to try and few different settings on the Tyco Suzuki Superbike, which I love riding and clicked with really quickly at the opening test at Almeria with Guy Martin. We also had a run-out on the Supersport bike for the first time at Cartagena. We still have a bit of work to do but overall it was good to get some time on all three bikes over the two tests and I enjoyed being able to meet my new team-mates and crew in Spain.”
Philip Neill – Team Manager:
“Despite having three new riders in our garage at Cartagena, I have to say things ran very smoothly indeed. Both Hopper and Josh put a lot of work in and I’m very pleased with the results they achieved over the four days.
“Lap times were not the optimum goal this week, but we were well-within the ballpark and I’m very pleased with the progress both riders made day-on-day. Hopper proved his pedigree despite not having ridden for 16 months and Josh Waters has that big smile back on his face; which is great to see. He too was posting impressive and consistent lap-times on the GSX-R1000 Superbike, so we have to be pleased overall.
“Taylor had a crash on day two but worked well and looks confident going into the new British Supersport season and William Dunlop also got some decent miles in on both GSX-R1000 and GSX-R600 machinery.”