2008 Testing Reports

Brands Hatch – Saturday February 16th.

A damp and extremely cold start to the day where Riders Mark Smith-Halvorsen and Pete Jennings took their time to get on track and circulated steadily, to check running temperatures and to ensure that the winter rebuild was effective.

As the day progressed the new PFM 6 piston brakes were used to good effect with the CorporateFX Yamaha stopping with the slightest of prompts. New tyres from Dunlop seemed to offer an amazing amount of grip considering that the track temperature was only 3-4 degrees.

With stiffer fork springs in use for the first time, the front end seemed to suffer from some chatter when pushed. Despite the conditions, both riders lapped in the 50 second bracket and the team left the Kent track happy with the feedback from the day. Those around probably wondered how and why ‘the endurance team’ had managed to run at such a pace!

Brands Hatch – Saturday March 15th

Despite earlier weather warnings, the day started bright and certainly warmer than the previous test. With Mark Smith-Halvorsen and Pete Jennings maximising track time by Pete using his trick GSXR1000 in sessions where the Yamaha was being ridden by Mark, the two started to test previous lap times and got the opportunity to work with the team on the ‘patter’ from the front wheel/suspension. Looking closely at front wheel alignment and suspension movement it was established that some adjustment to the fork bottoms, wheel spindle and spacers.

Without the opportunity to make the changes needed at the track, the team looked to develop chassis balance. A trial move to stiffen the rear shock gained approval from the riders and lap times reflected the improvement. Working through pre-load and ride height changes highlighted a setting that seemed to maximise the grip of the rear tyre and better balance the chassis incorporating stiffer fork springs.

With the Dunlop’s gripping superbly well the day ended with a substantial reduction in times with Pete breaking into the 48’s around the Brands Indy circuit and Mark S-H comfortably into the 49’s.

Anglesey – March 22/23rd

With the first round of the UK Endurance Championship at a new venue – Anglesey in North Wales, GBmoto felt it prudent to make the journey up to the circuit over Easter in an attempt to learn the track and get a base setting for the race.

With the track running alongside the coast, even setting up camp became a chore, with gale force winds threatening to blow the awning, personnel and kit into the Irish Sea.

With Mark S-H as the sole rider on Saturday, the weather stayed bright, blustery with damp squalls. After becoming more comfortable with the track layout and racing line, Mark worked at softening the rear suspension to extend tyre wear on the newly laid abrasive track surface. Rider and bike seemed to gel with the track, consistently running faster that even the ‘local hotshots’ I changeable cold conditions.

Sunday saw the arrival of damp weather and Mick Godfrey for the first time I 2008. Mick adjusted well to the Welsh track and was similarly quickly on the pace in some very damp and changeable weather. The CorporateFX Yamaha adapted wll to different levels of surface grip, with Mick looking smooth and confident. The weekend ended with both riders and the team happy and gearing and suspension settings in a good place.