Red Bull Honda’s dream duo of Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl have been left with a lot of work to do after two days’ WorldSBK testing at Phillip Island as the new Fireblade continues its evolution from roadbike to racebike.
Hayden ended the test 1.407s off the pace with Bradl eight-tenths further back and the German is definitely not happy as the opening round looms but he says the team have some ideas to put into place.
“We cannot be too happy with how the test went. We knew we needed every minute of these two days of testing and for an unfortunate mix of circumstances we couldn’t make the most of it. Yesterday’s weather surely didn’t help, but we also went in the wrong direction in terms of setting up the bike and got lost a bit there,” said Bradl.
“Today we had a small issue with the electronics that cost us some valuable time this afternoon and, when we got it sorted, it was too late to improve our lap-time. We have a lot of areas we need to work on and the guys will spend these two days analysing the data in order to come up with a plan to begin with. Now we have a sort of idea of what needs to be done, so I hope we will be able to improve during the weekend.”
Hayden was fractionally more upbeat this afternoon, saying there are positives to work on: “Luckily today we had much better weather than yesterday, but we picked up more or less where we left off at Portimão. Unfortunately, we were not able to close the gap to the front like we wished we had and there is still some work to do with the electronics and the driveability.
“We also experienced some inconsistency from lap to lap, which didn’t help me in giving a proper feedback to the team. We will look through the data in order to try and find something in time for Friday: we need to focus on the positives and be realistic on what there is to improve the most, then we’ll see what happens.”