Hayden and Bradl still have plenty of work to do in order to turn the Sp2 Fireblade into a race winner
Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team’s Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl have completed the official two-day test at Phillip Island, and they are now only three days away from the start of the opening round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship, which takes place at the same venue from Friday.
After a weather-affected opening day of action at the spectacular 4.445km Australian track, the riders enjoyed much better conditions today as they continued to work with the crews on their brand-new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machines.
Both Hayden and Bradl have completed plenty of laps during the Phillips Island test, 95 and 105 laps respectively, and tried different settings on many areas of the bike, which have given the team a considerable amount of information to work on ahead of the first free practice session of the year, scheduled for 0945 Friday morning.
“Luckily today we had much better weather than yesterday, but we picked up more or less where we left off at Portimão. Unfortunately, we were not able to close the gap to the front like we wished we had and there is still some work to do with the electronics and the driveability. We also experienced some inconsistency from lap to lap, which didn’t help me in giving a proper feedback to the team. We will look through the data in order to try and find something in time for Friday: we need to focus on the positives and be realistic on what there is to improve the most, then we’ll see what happens.”
“We cannot be too happy with how the test went. We knew we needed every minute of these two days of testing and for an unfortunate mix of circumstances we couldn’t make the most of it. Yesterday’s weather surely didn’t help, but we also went in the wrong direction in terms of setting up the bike and got lost a bit there. Today we had a small issue with the electronics that cost us some valuable time this afternoon and, when we got it sorted, it was too late to improve our lap-time. We have a lot of areas we need to work on and the guys will spend these two days analysing the data in order to come up with a plan to begin with. Now we have a sort of idea of what needs to be done, so I hope we will be able to improve during the weekend.”
Pieter Breddels – Technical Manager
“We knew there was a lot of work to do and yesterday’s weather surely didn’t help our cause. With Nicky we worked on many areas but we experienced some inconsistency from lap to lap which did not help in moving forward with the setup. He was not able to ride the bike like he wanted, so we need to do some more work to make it as responsive as he’d like. On the final lap he looked like he could improve his lap-time quite a bit, before going a bit wide at the last corner. Phillip Island is a track that requires a quite unique setup compared to Jerez and Portimão, so it became quite obvious that the settings Stefan needs on his bike are much more different than Nicky’s, especially if compared with the other two tracks we have tested on this year. It took us quite some time to find some kind of direction and we still have some work to do; we found some improvement on the very last outing so we’ll start from there.”
World Superbike 2017 Phillip Island Test Day Two Times
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