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2014 MCE BSB: A reflection on the first official test

Thursday, April 03 2014

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne set a blistering pace in the opening official test of the 2014 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, as both the triple champion and his Milwaukee Yamaha rival Josh Brookes lapped under the circuit record ahead of the Brands Hatch season opener (18-21 April).

Byrne and Brookes' time showed their impressive pre-season pace with the pair continuously swapping positions at the top of the times throughout the day. Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki's Byrne now along with several of the MCE BSB contenders has one final test at Snetterton next week before heading to his home round of Brands Hatch for the season opener.

The test also was the first chance for UK fans to catch a glimpse of Ryuichi Kiyonari as he begins his new chapter with Buildbase BMW and despite only have an initial shakedown at Mallory Park last week, he showed he was getting comfortable with the team, setting the ninth fastest time.

Chris Walker continued to live up to his latest slogan - "Old but Gold" as he held fourth place on the timesheets for the Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki team. Walker has narrowly missed out on the end of season Showdown in the past, but proved that he intends to come out fighting in true Stalker style at the opening round.  

The team-mates though are ready to climb the order and rival the opposite side of their respective garages with reigning Motorpoint British Supersport champion Stuart Easton, Milwaukee Yamaha's Tommy Bridewell and James Ellison on the second Lloyds British GBmoto Racing Kawasaki all ready to up the ante at the opening round.

For the Millsport Ducati team they were able to leave the Donington Park test buoyed by their recent run of pre-season form, with Czech Jakub Smrz locking out third place on his return to the Leicestershire circuit. Smrz has instantly found a common ground with the Panigale and is ready to give the Millsport Ducati team some strong performances in their debut season.

For Tyco Suzuki's John Hopkins, the American was fighting flu at the test, ending the combined sessions in eighth place. The former title contender though is ready to get back on track at Snetterton, a circuit which he won on during his debut in 2011.

Harry Hartley used the first official test to acclimatising well to the Superbike as he prepares to be the youngest rider to ever feature on the MCE BSB grid this Easter weekend at Brands Hatch. The Halsall Biker Gear Kawasaki rider now gets set for the final official test at Snetterton next week (8/9 April).

For the full session results please click here

For a video round up from the test please click here

The final official test takes place at Snetterton on 8/9 April, with admission free of charge.