The Honda TT Legends team has completed a week of pre-season testing ahead of the 2013 Endurance World Championship and road racing events. The week began with a two-day shakedown at the Dunlop-owned Mireval circuit in France before moving on to the official Dunlop tire test at Circuito Albacete in Spain.
John McGuinness and Simon Andrews were joined by new signings Michael Rutter and Michael Dunlop. Rutter was forced to miss the Albacete trip having sustained a broken leg following a crash on the second day at Mireval, however the remaining riders spent a further four days on track.
Although wet and windy weather hindered progress, the team was able to complete four different tire tests with Dunlop and carry out crucial development work on the EWC-spec CBR1000RR Fireblade. Meanwhile, Michael Dunlop took the opportunity to get to grips with his road racing machine for the first time. The team will return to the UK for just over a week, before heading to the official Bol d’Or test at Magny Cours on 20/21 March.
Neil Tuxworth – team manager
The main thing we’ve achieved is some time on the bikes for the lads after the winter break, but the biggest problem we’ve had is the weather in Albacete. Mireval was very good, we had an excellent two-day test there aside from Rutter injuring himself, of course. We wish him all the best in getting better. We’ve had four days at Albacete but in reality we’ve only had about a day and a half of track time. We’ve learned a lot though and we’ve made some good preparations for the Bol d’Or test in a couple of weeks. In summary, it’s been worthwhile but it would have been much better with good weather.
We had a great first two days testing in Mireval with the team introducing a couple of new riders to the line-up. We did tons of laps and some EWC full-length rotas, which was really encouraging. It’s a real shame about Rutter though and I hope he gets well soon. The Albacete leg of the test has been a bit frustrating because of the weather but we did manage some good wet tire testing for Dunlop and we’ve done some development work with the bike electronics. It’s been great to have the whole team together again and just get back on the bike to blow the winter cobwebs away.
It’s nice to be back on a motorcycle again. The body’s held up well and we did some good long stints and development work in Mireval in the nice weather. We left there with a lot of laps and some confidence before heading down to Albacete. The first couple of days were wet, which gave us a chance to test new wet tires that really helped the bike in poor conditions. We’ve tried lots of chassis set-up along with some good training stints for the body. It’s nice to see everyone in the team again. We’re leaving here happy and looking forward to the Bol d’Or test.
This has been my first time out on the bike and it feels good. We came here expecting dry weather but it’s rained a lot so that’s hindered progress, but at the end of day it’s just good to be here with my mechanics Adrian and Graeme and get a feel for the bike. The set-up is good so far and we’ve been able to get a few dry laps in. I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike at Castle Combe so we can finish what we’ve started here.
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