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After the long winter break, Centurion Honda, consisting of riders Dennis Hobbs, James Westmoreland and Dan Cooper were eager to get back out on a race track and start preparing for the tough season that lies ahead of them.
Centurion’s first stop was Cartagena Circuit, the trio all had to adjust to riding again having not ridden since last October, it was a learning curve for the entire team. A chance for the riders to get to know their team and also have a run out on the new Pirelli tyres and determine what aspects need to be changed or improved.
The three day test at Cartagena went well and it was a good shake down for the boys to get used to everything again and remember what their aims are this year. The weather was extremely good, which enable all three to find a good set up on the 2008 Honda CBR’s.
After getting an indication about how the bikes work and how the tyres work the team were packing up their stuff and heading up to Guadix for another three days of solid testing. Once again the trio were on the pace and soon up to speed with the other riders out on the circuit.
It was the first visit to Guadix for Dan Cooper and he settled in extremely well learning to track and understanding the new Honda. Commenting he said “It’s been a really good shake down for me for the start of the season. We’ve managed to cram in a lot in the last week and I’m really pleased as we leave Guadix. The team have once again been fantastic and I can’t wait to get to Brands and get racing again. I was surprised how quickly I managed to settle back into a rhythm and really enjoyed the whole experience. My times were good and I’m hoping things will continue to move forward as the season progresses”
New signing for the Centurion team, finishing third in last year’s Championship Dennis Hobbs got his feet under the table at Centurion and looked strong throughout the week. Saying “For me the test was all about getting back out on track and learning how the bike works best for me. We had a few teething problems but this is what it’s all about, finding these problems, finding a solution and moving forward. We were lucky with the weather and I managed to get a number of laps under my belt at both circuits. The team are great and I hope this year that I can really push for the Championship. We carried out a few race simulations and they worked really well, my times were consistent and I felt really comfortable on the bike. I can’t wait to get to Brands and put it all into action.”
James Westmoreland, Centurion’s 2007 British Supersport Cup Champion, settled in well on his new 2008 Honda. The youngster from Hull said “It’s been four months since I last rode a bike round a track and it was great to get back out there once again. I was a bit worried at the start about the new Pirelli tyre rule as I’ve always ridden on Dunlop’s. However, I was really impressed at how quickly I managed to adapt to them and found a really good race set up on the bike. For me I felt much more content on the bike at Guadix than I did at Cartagena. We’re now getting ready to go to Snetterton and I’m feeling really pleased with the way everything is going already.”
Team Manager Gary Stubbington was delighted with the riders performance saying “It’s been a really positive test for the entire team. The boys have done their job successfully and we are very pleased with the feedback and the results that have come from the test. All of them worked extremely hard over the week and adapted really well to the new tracks, new bikes and new tyres. For the first test we certainly achieved a lot and hoping that the season will follow suit and that all three will have a good strong year. We will be at Snetterton on Easter weekend for the official British Superbike test.”
General Manager Paul Rees commented, “I expected small problems with the bikes but this was sorted out very quickly due to the hard work and long hours that the engineers Al Hesseldon and Mark Benson had put in back in the UK prior to deploying to Spain. The riders did a fantastic job with the new bikes especially after a long winter. We, as a team will be going into the first round at Brands with a very positive mind and are extremely happy with the whole set up. We know our three guys will perform well but they as well as the team, will also learn from every race.”
Centurion Racing will be present over Easter Weekend at Snetterton Circuit for the official test. See BSB Test Snetterton for more information.

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