Lavilla Laps It Up At Jerez

Paul Bird Motorsport rider Gregorio Lavilla concluded a successful three day test at Jerez by racking up close on 200 laps despite varying weather conditions at the Spanish track.

The 34 year old from Tarragona quickly adapted to his first ride on the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade as the team worked on all aspects of the machine throughout the test and despite no official timing being recorded, telemetry showed that Lavilla was on the pace of World Superbike regular, Lorenzo Lanzi aboard the SBK-spec 1098 Ducati.

Lavilla, the 2005 British Superbike Champion, is making a return to the World Superbike Championship with the team that won BSB in 2002 and 2003 and was delighted with his progress so far:

Gregorio Lavilla

"This was a very good test to do as it is over two months since I last raced and I am very happy with the way things went. The team, as I expected, is very professional and there is already a great atmosphere so the transition is working well. On the first day, the conditions were OK but it was wet on the second day and very windy on the third day but we worked on a number of areas as well as using Pirelli tyres. We concentrated on set up rather than outright speed and although we still have a lot of work to do, I'm very happy with the progress we have made and to be on the pace of someone like Lanzi already is very encouraging."

Paul Bird, Team Owner:

"I knew it wouldn't take Greg long to get up to speed and being the world class rider that he is, it's showing already. He was under no pressure from us to go fast but he's so hungry having been away for World Superbikes for four years, he really is fired up. He needed time on the bike and that's what this test gave him and I was particularly impressed with how he adapted to the Pirelli tyres. It's only two months to the first race so we aim to fit in a lot more testing between now and then."

The next test is scheduled for January at Valencia before the team heads out to the Middle East for a final test prior to the first round of the revised 2008 World Superbike Championship which gets underway at Qatar on February 23rd.

-credit: sbm