2019’s first official British Superbike (BSB) test kicked off in Spain, and was hosted in the Monteblanco Circuit near Seville. Team WD-40 riders Claudio Corti and Eemeli Lahti put their Limited Edition Kawasaki ZX10RR bikes to the test, and passed with flying colours. The Monteblanco Circuit lasted 3 days, and conditions couldn’t have been better. Claudio got to experience the track and his new superbike for the first time.
The Team had scheduled a rigorous chassis test program, as they had only received their new engines from Kawasaki the week before leaving for the test. The engines were in their base form which proved to be quite good straight out of the box.
On the first day, great progress was initially made in the open pitlane format, allowing for continuing changes and parts testing. Part of the day was unfortunately hampered however, due to a crash where Claudio suffered a knee injury. Sadly, the injury got quite badly infected over the duration of the test, affecting his movement.
Despite this, the team were extremely pleased to finish 7th overall on day 1, and 8th on day 2. On the 3rd and final day at Monteblanco, great progress with the team’s settings, and Claudio was able to get in some much-needed recovery time.
Claudio ‘Shorts’ Corti said about the BSB test: “It was my first time at Monteblanco and on the new superbike. The track is great for testing and the new bike felt good. It was sad that I wrecked on the first day but was pleased with how things have gone. The new ZX10RR engine is quite an improvement, and I am looking forward to Portimao. It’s been 10 years since I was last there.”
Team WD-40 visited the Autodromo International Algarve in Portugal next, taking them to yet another fantastic setting. Hosts of the World Superbike event, it was the perfect place to welcome Finland’s Eemeli Lahti to the Team.
Both Claudio and Eemeli have raced in the WSB, so having been to the circuit before was a great advantage while learning new bikes.
Eemeli was really keen on working with his new crew chief Mark Hanna. He was also looking forward to his first ride on a 1000cc bike (his previous experience being on 600’s).
Mark and Eme were able to hit it off straight away, allowing them to get down to work. They completed over 100 laps. Eemeli continued to improve throughout, as he became more familiar with the techniques necessary to race a 1000. In some cases he made the circuit close to the fastest times, so everyone was pleased with the final results.
About the BSB test races, Eemeli had this to say: “I’m really pleased the Team chose me to race the STAUFF Quick Connect Superstock 1000 in the British Championships. My first time on a 1000 was a little scary as the bike is so fast. Mark and the Team are great guys and helped me settle down and learn. I loved riding the ZX10RR and being on track with the other fast BSB guys. I’m also very pleased to get on well with Claudio, even though he’s already named me Enzo, I think we’ll be friends. I’m looking forward to BSB now but I’m sure it’ll be colder in the UK compared to Portugal. So now I’ll try to get some hours on the beach before I go home.”
Claudio finished by adding: “The knee is much worse here in Portugal as it has got infected, but we still managed a good job. I know I have a good team and bike going into the season, and we have some great new parts coming before the next time I ride the bike in Silverstone. I have a good team mate in Enzo, and I’m looking forward to meeting Storm too.”
For more about Team WD-40 and GR Motosport, check out grmotosport.co.uk
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