RAIN DAMPENS OPENING DAY OF VALENCIA TEST
The Winston Ten Kate Honda team was restricted to a handful of laps today - the first of a two-day Pirelli test at the Ricardo Tormo circuit near Valencia in Spain. However, Britain's James Toseland did not pass up the opportunity to acquaint himself with the Honda CBR1000 Fireblade that he will ride for the team in the 2006 World Superbike championship.
Today also marked an opportunity for Dutchman Jurgen van den Goorbergh to put in some testing laps on the Winston Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR World Supersport machine. Neither Karl Muggeridge nor 2005 World Supersport champion Sebastien Charpentier completed any laps today.
Ronald ten Kate - team manager:
"The weather in Valencia today was not ideal but it gave the team and James a chance to get to know each other and for James to get to know the bike a little. The rain makes it a bit more relaxed because there's no pressure to go fast straight away. James has made some small adjustments to the riding position and got an early feel for the machine. Jurgen is one of a few riders on our shortlist for the second World Supersport ride and the only one who is available to test this week. We've been trying a new specification engine in the CBR and needed to turn the wheels on the bike, so Jurgen is the ideal rider to do that for us."
"That was a good first day, really, in spite of the weather. The team has a good structure and they're a great bunch of guys. Although it was difficult in the conditions, I also got a feel for the balance of the bike and it feels pretty good. You have to be really smooth in the wet and very sensitive with the throttle so it gives you an idea of how the bike is behaving. Of course, I would have preferred it to be dry for a chance to get up to speed more quickly; but I still did 30 laps today. We're all hoping for some dry weather tomorrow so we can make a bit more progress."