The team had exclusive use of the 4.6 kilometre Portimão circuit from August 20-21, before regrouping at the circuit for the WorldSBK group test on August 23-25, using the four days of track time to evaluate new development components.
Among the items tested by riders Leon Camier and Jake Gagne were a new engine specification with enhanced driveability, a revised chassis to improve bike balance and a new electronics package.
Camier, still feeling the effects of the injury which forced him out of the Suzuka 8 Hour was still able to set a competitive pace on race tyres and finished eighth quickest at the official WorldSBK test with a best time of 1’42.718, 1.5 seconds off the fastest time. Gagne’s best time was a 1’43.361, placing him 13th overall on the timesheet.
In addition to Camier and Gagne testing for their team, Triple M Honda World Superbike Team rider PJ Jacobsen was drafted in to ride the Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 on the final day of the two-day group test, the American rider finishing with a best time of 1’44.247.
Over the four days of testing, the riders cumulatively completed hundreds of laps of the Portimão circuit in a wide range of track conditions, not only completing the test programme but also acquiring valuable setting data ahead of the upcoming WorldSBK round at the Portuguese circuit from September 14-16.
Leon Camier 2
With our private test and the two day test at Portimão we definitely made a step forward with the bike. I was still struggling physically at the test following the crash at the Suzuka 8 Hour testing, but we managed to get through everything we planned. The new engine spec worked well, as did the new electronics and chassis and overall, I think our pace on race tyres was quite competitive. We’ve made some progress and have a good direction to follow and I’m looking forward to the Portimão round and the rest of the season.
Jake Gagne 45
We had a long week of testing at Portimão and completed plenty of laps and collected a lot of data in some really hot conditions. We haven’t had a chance to test since the start of the year due to injuries, so it was good to do try out some new engine, chassis and electronics and there’s a lot of positives to take from all the new developments the team introduced. We’re ready to go for Portimão next month and should have a good base setup for the track, so I hope we can finish the year strong.
There was a lot to do at Portimão after all our development work over the summer break, so this test gave us the opportunity to try many new components. The three main items we tested were a new engine specification which was made to improve driveability with more low-down torque, a new chassis version to improve the balance of the bike, and a new electronics package to improve the connection between the riders right hand and the rear wheel. With the amount of testing to do, we had a private two-day test as well as the group test at the circuit to ensure our programme could be completed. The test was a success, with Leon and Jake able to test all the components, although Leon still wasn’t fully fit following his crash at Suzuka. On the final day of the group test, PJ Jacobsen also rode the bike to help with the test programme. The test showed us that we’ve made good progress with the CBR1000RR to help us be more competitive for the rest of the season, and the data we collected for this circuit gives us a strong starting point for the next round of the championship which isn’t far away now.