Riders prepare for BSB pre-season test

TOMORROW will see the UK's top motorcycle road-racers take part in the British Superbike Championship three-day test at Snetterton Motor Racing Circuit in Norfolk.

TOMORROW will see the UK's top motorcycle road-racers take part in the British Superbike Championship three-day test at Snetterton Motor Racing Circuit in Norfolk.

Among them will be Ipswich-based Kieran Murphy, who is riding for Goldstar Suzuki, and Martin Buckles from Woodbridge, who has joined MV Agusta race team Bullet Racing.

Both riders will compete in the British Superstock Championship and the next three days will give them plenty of track-time to tune their machines in preparation for the forthcoming season, which starts on Easter Sunday April 8.

Last season saw Murphy compete in the 600cc British Supersport Championship but just over a month ago he made the switch to the 1000cc British Superstock Championship, setting up his own team backed by Felixstowe-based haulage firm Goldstar Transport with Crescent Suzuki Performance providing two brand-new 2007 spec Suzuki GSXR1000's.

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Buckles had a good season in 2006. He finished second in the British Superstock Cup - a privateer version of the British Superstock Championship - and this year will pit himself against a more competitive class of rider aboard lavish Italian firm's MV Agusta F4 1000R for Bullet Racing.

Another local team who are due to take part in the test will be MSS Discovery Kawasaki Racing, who are based in Thorpe-le-Soken in Essex.

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In addition to continuing there efforts in British Supersport Championship, this season will, for the first time, see them venture into the British Superbike Championship, and they have secured the expertise of British Superbike ace Michael Rutter to ride their factory-backed Kawasaki ZX10R.

Stuart Easton has joined the team to compete aboard their works Kawasaki ZX6R in the British Supersport Championship, and has proven success in the class after winning the series in 2005.

Recent tests have proven positive for both MSS Discovery riders and the team has made some positive headway after a recent three-day test at Albacete.

“At the end of the day I think on race rubber we were a little way off the front boys at Albacete,” said Rutter, “but there's a good reason for that.

“The other guys were trying real hard, with Leon Haslam and Karl Harris crashing, but we've only got one bike at the moment and crashing it isn't an option. With two bikes, which we should have at Snetterton this weekend I'll be able to try more things and we have so many things to do.

“We have the package, but now we need to fine-tune it. I think Snetterton will be a more accurate gauge, as Albacete isn't really very representative of a UK track. Even then, as racing always proves, you only know where you are by the first race.”

The team's British Supersport rider Stuart Easton said: “The three day test wasn't too bad at all, although as always it could have been better.

“We tried lots of things with the set-up, finding the right balance for the bike and my boys are working so hard.

“We endurance tested one of the 600s, which was good, but now we're looking forward to the Snetterton test which is very important for us.

“We are all hoping the weather is decent enough to get plenty more work done. I'm hopeful that we'll have more speed from the engine and then we need to refine the package that we already have.”

• For the full report on this weekend's BSB test at Snetterton, see Bike Torque in this Tuesday's EADT.

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