Testing Concludes For VisionTrack Ducati At Donington

Testing Concludes For VisionTrack Ducati At Donington
The fourth and final official pre-season test took place in glorious conditions at Donington Park today where defending Bennetts British Superbike champions, VisionTrack Ducati, concluded their schedule with both Josh Brookes and Christian Iddon inside the top seven.
After successful tests at Silverstone, Snetterton and Oulton Park, as well as a couple of outings at Knockhill over the past few weeks, the Paul Bird Motorsport team continued through their workload at the Donington Park National Circuit aboard the factory supported VisionTrack Ducati Panigale V4 R.
With a limited number of spectators being allowed back trackside, the opening session in the morning saw Iddon in seventh place with a lap time of 1:06.961 whilst Brookes gradually settled into 12th with a lap of 1:07.121.
The temperature rose for the early afternoon session and Iddon, originally from Stockport but now living on Tyneside, upped his pace to end the session third fastest to record a fastest lap of 1:06.448 with Bedfordshire-based Aussie Brookes improving to sixth quickest, lapping at 1:06.603.
The third and final session was held in the late afternoon with conditions at their hottest and saw Brookes on the #1 VisionTrack Ducati end it in sixth, improving his lap time to 1:06.410, whilst Iddon couldn’t quite better his earlier time but finished up in seventh overall for the Penrith-based team.
The team now moves on to the opening round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship which takes place over the weekend of 25/27 June at Oulton Park for the first of 11 rounds, all containing three races.  
Josh Brookes: “I’m happy enough with how today went, it was good to get some more dry track time and to continue developing our overall package as well as getting more data about the tyres. Whereas the time sheets don’t reflect our hard work and performance, I’m not really taking much notice as we are only six-tenths off the riders who concentrated on putting a fast lap in and we can do our times all race long. We have had a good, solid testing schedule over the past few weeks and are now raring to get the season started at Oulton Park in a couple of weeks.”
Christian Iddon: “I was happy with our progress today as this was the last time we got to work on our settings before the opening round. We have done a lot of work this year and with it being my second year with the team, I’m able to relay the feedback better. We are better placed than we were last year and that didn’t go too badly so I’m very happy. I’m not bothered about the time sheets, and we have never chased a fast lap time all throughout testing, I’m fine as it’s all about race runs for me and that’s what we’ve been concentrating on. There are still improvements to make, and we’ll continue to work but it’s nearly go time and I’m ready.”
John Mowatt, Team Co-Ordinator: “Throughout testing, the whole plan has been to refine the set ups to reflect race conditions so to end up where we did is great as both riders set times which they could consistently replicate lap after lap. Josh is comfortable where he’s at and today was just about making some improvements to the whole package which he did and Christian’s feedback has given his side of the garage the information they need to continue their challenge and he did nearly 100 laps today, the most of anyone. We are confident we have got good race pace which is where it matters as with 33 races this year, that’s going to be vitally important, starting at Oulton Park later this month.” 
  Immediately after Josh Brookes had finished the final session of the day, he handed the controls of the #1 PBM VisionTrack Ducati over to the winner of a competition run by title sponsors Bennetts who, in conjunction with Paul Bird’s team, allowed the unique money-can’t-buy prize for three laps of the Donington Park track. Further information at www.bennetts.co.uk.     
Further details can be found at the new Paul Bird Motorsport website – check out www.pbmuk.net

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