The Buildbase Suzuki British Superbike team finally broke the silence last week, as they made their first on-track appearance of the year at the first official BSB test at Silverstone.
The Suzuki GSX-R1000R pilots, Gino Rea and Danny Kent made a great first impression at the Northamptonshire circuit.
Day 1 of the test proved to be the most challenging of the 2. It wasn’t the start that Kent was wishing for after falling victim to turn 4. In cold conditions on his first proper ride on the GSXR, the former Moto3 World Champion was simply asking too of the rear end of the bike.
“I made a silly mistake in the first practice where the track was a little bit wet and the rear and just came round on me. There’s so much for me to learn and it’s such a big jump from what I’ve been used to.” Said Kent, following the incident.
Despite the crash leaving him unable to complete a valid lap in the second session, he got back up to speed quickly for the final two sessions of the day. The 27-year-old went on to secure a P10 and finished the day with a solid P6.
“I was surprised at my pace and at how quickly we managed to secure a quick lap time. I got up to speed quite fast. It’s a new bike for me so to go straight back out and do well, lifted my confidence a lot.”
It was a productive first day in the office for Gino Rea on the other side of the garage, he and the team worked hard to test different components. Rea achieved a best place finish of 3rd in the first practice session and improved on lap times as the day progressed.
“It was good to get testing underway and get the first day done. We had a lot of things to try that are different from last year, so everyone was eager to get going.”
“The first day was really valuable, we used it to evaluate some new electronic components on the bike. We got a lot of data and information that we can take forwards with us.” He said.
Day 2 of the test hosted much better luck for the Buildbase Suzuki squad and their riders. The day saw both Rea and Kent occupy spots within the top 3 and remaining within the top 10 throughout all four sessions.
In session number 2, Kent put in a great lap time which landed him at the top of the field, with Gino Rea not far behind in P3.
Following both days of testing, Kent said: “I think we can leave Silverstone after 2 days and be quite happy. I didn’t expect to come here and be inside the top 3.
“I seemed to have adapted quite easily, I think Steve and the team have made the job a bit easier for me with their experience. I’m happy with what I’ve done and how the team has worked.”
The pre-season testing period is a time that Gino Rea didn’t have in 2020, due to stepping into the team late as a replacement rider.
These days are without a doubt crucial for both riders and teams, as they get the chance to practice and experiment with different set-ups away from a race environment.
Rea said: “It’s really nice to have the opportunity to test with the Buildbase Suzuki team. Stepping in with them last year during the season was difficult. These are the days I wish I could have had.”
Buildbase Suzuki’s 2021 entry into one of the biggest domestic championships in the world, proved to have bags of potential coming away from the first test of the year, there is certainly a great deal for us to look forward to ahead of the season opener.