British Superbike Pre-Season Begins

Tommy_Hill_BSBThe 2011 British Superbike season is here. BSB teams and riders took to the track today for the first time in preparation for the 2011 season. The HM Plant Honda team and the Swan Yamaha led the way around the Calafat circuit in Spain.

Ryuichi Kiyonari, who won the 2010 British Superbike championship with the HM Plant Honda team, returned to the track today wearing the number 1 plate.

“I am very happy already to be back with the team and riding again because the few months off were very long,” Kiyonari said. “The new HM Plant Honda feels fast already and we have done some good work today on the electronics and tomorrow we will look more at the chassis and machine balance as I still want to be faster, but this will come with more laps. Each day we need to push hard and improve to be faster as the other riders will too but today was good for getting back on the bike and riding again.”

Kiyonari will be joined by Shane “Shakey” Byrne on the HM Plant Honda team this year.

“We put in a good number of laps and got some of the initial work done that is always needed at the start of the season,” Byrne said. “My initial reaction to riding the HM Plant Honda is that the Fireblade is flippin’ fast, especially after a few months off! The engine characteristics are obviously different to the Ducati which I rode last season but it does feel like a missile. We haven’t made too many changes today, just tried to get my riding position right so I can adapt to the new bike and we have done some good work this afternoon on the electronics. I have some experienced guys working around me so tomorrow we are going to crack on and start making some changes.”

The Swan Yamaha team also made its official debut today. Tommy Hill and Michael Laverty got their first chance to try out ne new R1.

“I have a great feeling from the team and bike already; obviously the bike is going to feel very different to what I have previously ridden but my initial reaction is that the Swan Yamaha is impressive,” Hill said. “We started on the basics today to keep things simple and then gradually introduce electronics very slowly so that we know what we are improving. Tonight we hope to iron out a few little teething problems we had with the quick shifter but so far we are happy enough with the progress.”

Courtesy of

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