Weather affected both the first and final days of a three-day official British Superbike Championship Test at Snetterton this week. Day one of the latest round of the test tour was effectively washed out on Tuesday at the Norfolk track with virtually none of the riders venturing out in any of the sessions before Wednesday dawned brighter and saw Iddon, on Paul Bird’s factory supported VisionTrack Ducati Panigale V4R, on the pace.
The 36 year old from Stockport, but now based at Blaydon on Tyneside, set fastest time in Wednesday’s morning session before waiting until the final moments of the second session in the afternoon to post his best lap, which put him 0.166s ahead of fellow Ducati rider Tommy Bridewell.
The rain returned for the third session and teams chose to end the day early in preparation for Thursday’s final day of testing, but once again the weather proved to be the only winner, and Iddon, who took his maiden Bennetts BSB victory at Snetterton last year, was forced to end the day early along with everyone else.
“It was very good to top the only two sessions that really happened so from that point of view, it Christian Iddonwas a real confidence booster. Not only that, I felt we were strong, and the bike was good although we couldn’t really get our teeth into things and we didn’t get to try a lot of what we had planned. It’s a shame we couldn’t do more laps, but it wasn’t just the wet weather, the track was just too cold, and it wouldn’t have made sense to go out and we had nothing to gain. We started where we finished at Silverstone and got some really good data so we will take what we learned into the next test at Oulton in a couple of weeks and then the one after that at Donington as we build towards the season ahead.”
Tommy Bridewell made it a Ducati 1-2 atop the charts but defending champion Josh Brookes was present at the Snetterton test but didn’t ride following a finger injury sustained at Silverstone last week. The 37-year-old Bedfordshire-based Aussie had a minor operation under local anaesthetic on Sunday to repair the little finger on his left hand but because of the poor weather forecast and to prevent any complications, it was decided to keep the number one VisionTrack Ducati parked up. Brookes plans to be back in action along with his team-mate Iddon at the next official test which takes place at Oulton Park on May 19th.
Danny Buchan and Kyle Ryde were third and fourth respectively on BMW machinery and TT racer Peter Hickman again showed good short circuit form on his FHO Racing BMW.With no pure roads racing for more than 18 months, and none of that action on the immediate horizon, the Isle of Man TT lap record holder ended the test fifth quickest.
“The Snetterton test has been quite positive for us and although we didn’t get in as much riding as we would have liked, with two sessions yesterday, but the news is the BMW felt good straight off. If you look at the times it was pretty evident from all of the BMW teams. Again, it is very early days still for us and I am happy that I feel comfortable on it at another different track, so that is a big positive after some changes we made at Silverstone. Yesterday I didn’t feel like I was pushing that hard and we didn’t go for a fast lap and so it was nice to be in the top five. We had made some changes to test today to hopefully try and improve the pace again, but unfortunately that didn’t happen, so we can move on to Oulton Park where hopefully we can get some more track time in.”
The opening round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship takes place over the weekend of 25/27 June at Oulton Park.
BSB Official Test, Snetterton
Superbike Combined Times
GP2 / Junior Superstock / Ducati TriOptions
Charlie Nesbitt was the quickest GP2 rider at the Snetterton test ahead of Dan Jones and Jamie Perrin.
Zac Corderoy topped the Junior Supersport ranks ahead of Joe Talbot while Australian entrant Seth Crump was 12th quickest in the category.
National Superstock / British Supersport
Billy McConnell returns to the STK1000 fold in 2021 on the Rich Energy OMG BMW and was third quickest in this weather distrupted test just ahead of countryman Brayden Elliott. Matt Truelove topped the STK1000 rankings on a BMW S 1000 RR.
South Australian Levi Day is back in the British Superstock 1000 Championship this season after a couple of years racing the Ducati Tri-Options Cup. Day had gearbox problems that cost them testing time at a recent Mallory Park test session and unfortunately an engine failure on the Powerslide/AJN Steelstock Suzuki also affected this test. After a big effort from the team Day got back on track to finish the test seventh quickest.
Kiwi Damon Rees was just inside the STK1000 top 20.
British Supersport riders participated in the same session as STK1000 riders and in the 600 category Bradley Perie topped the sessions from perennial Supersport yardstick Jack Kennedy. Victorian rider Ben Currie was well inside the top ten and hopes to have his new Gearlink Kawasaki machines ready before the season opener.
2021 Junior Supersport & Honda British Talent Cup
The Honda British Talent Cup have had their first taste of 2021 track action at Snetterton 300, with two days of testing prefaced by a briefing and some photo shoots. The weather didn’t play perfectly into the hands of motorcycle racing, however, with Thursday suffering cold temperatures and rain affecting play all day. Wednesday did give the class of 2021 chance to get solid good dry running in ahead of the season opener though, and it was James Cook (Wilson Racing) who topped the timesheets.
Cook’s best saw him end the test 0.184 ahead of the game, with Harrison Crosby (Banks Racing) slotting into second. Crosby also reversed that order in one session, the only rider deposing Cook during the dry sessions at the test. Cormac Buchanan (Microlise Cresswell Racing) was third quickest, three tenths off the top, as he got to grips with BTC machinery. The New Zealander will race in the BTC in 2021 at rounds that don’t clash with the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, where he also debuts this year.
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