Spain beckons as GBmoto Racing kickstart pre-season testing!

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Spain beckons as GBmoto Racing kickstart pre-season testing!

Posted: 03-March-2015

The GBmoto Racing team are gearing up for their first test of the year as the JG Speedfit Kawasaki duo of James Ellison and James Westmoreland, alongside Road Racing team mate Gary Johnson, begin a four day test at Cartagena on their Kawasaki ZX-10R machines Thursday (5th March).

After making their debut as the officially supported Kawasaki team in the MCE British Superbike Championship last year, 2015 will see the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team take yet another step forward. Alongside a brand new race truck and host of other changes, including a brand new hospitality unit that will further provide sponsors an opportunity to entertain guests, the team have been using the off-season to build upon the knowledge gained during 2014 and further refine the Kawasaki ZX-10R Superbike.

With already impressive results on the Dyno, the JG Speedfit Kawasaki duo of James Ellison and James Westmoreland will take to the track on their 2015 Kawasaki ZX-10R Superbikes for the first time Thursday (5th March) at a four day test at Cartagena. Following that, the entire team will travel to Guadix for a further three days on 10-12th March before rounding out their pre-season testing schedule with the official one day test at Donington on 26th March.

Joining the JG Speedfit Kawasaki British Superbike duo of Ellison and Westmoreland will be GBmoto Racing’s Road Racing contender Gary Johnson. Following the announcement last year that the team would be entering the North West 200, Isle of Man TT and Ulster Grand Prix, they have been working closely with the Kawasaki factory in Japan to build Superbike and Superstock spec ZX-10R machines.

Looking forward to getting back out on his Kawasaki ZX-10R, James Ellison said, “I’m raring to go for this test, I’m starting the season with the same team and bike but crucially they’ve also made some great updates over the winter. I didn’t need a new bike, it was all going well and now we have some redeveloped, strong engines.

I might not have got out on tarmac since the last BSB round but we’ve certainly put some miles in on every other type of bike; trials, motocross, flat track, mountain bike, cycling, all in good weather in Texas where my wife is from. There was quite an element of competition to it all so I feel pretty sharp and back to full fitness… and ready to go!”

Eager to make his debut on the JG Speedfit Kawasaki, James Westmoreland said, “It’s been almost four months since the NEC and joining the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team so to say I’m excited to get on the ZX-10R is an understatement! It’s a completely new adventure for me and GBmoto proved last year they have the credentials to win BSB, so it’s now up to me and James to try and do just that.

I’ve not really got any predictions for how the bike will be, I try not to overthink it too much beforehand so I’m looking forward to the first few laps and seeing how the ZX-10R compares to previous bikes I’ve ridden. We’ve got quite a few things to test over both Cartagena and Guadix so we’re certainly going to be busy – although Cartagena will be more of a ‘shakedown’ test to make sure I’m comfortable and everything is working OK, then Guadix and Donington we can focus on set-up to ensure we’re ready to challenge from race one!

It’s really good for me that both James and Gary are there too. I know Gary very well and although I don’t really know James, that will soon change and having him in the garage is going to be a big boost – he proved last year the bike is competitive and I’m sure we’ll both be able to help each other in certain aspects.”

Excited to make his return to the GBmoto team, Gary Johnson said, “I’m really looking forward to getting out with boys and begin work, it seems a long time since we announced so I’m ready to hit the track! I’ll have a bit more on my plate to work through than the James’ as I’ll have both the Superstock and Superbike out there, but it’s going to be really helpful having them both there at the same time and should hopefully help shorten the time spent on setting the Superbike up.

I’ve ridden the Superstock ZX-10R for the past two years and have had some good success on it, so I’ve brought that knowledge to the table with me so I’m hopeful we’ll be starting from a good base on that. Although I’ve been on another manufacturer for the best part of my Superbike career, it’s been down to budget primarily and the Kawasaki has been my desired bike so I’m really excited to getting out on it and seeing what’s what!

Although Cartagena and Guadix might not be particularly fast and flowing circuits, they will let us see where we need to develop the bikes further ahead of the North West 200 where I’m confident we’ll be able to challenge for top honours!”

GBmoto Racing Team Principal Mark Smith-Halvorsen said, “With this extensive testing schedule, coupled with a year of development under our belts and enjoying an even closer relationship with Kawasaki I’m confident that we’ll be in a position to challenge for victory at Donington Park.

The team have been working tirelessly over the winter months to further improve our Superbikes. We’ve listened to what both riders have wanted and looked at our strengths and weaknesses from 2014 to take another step forward for this season. We have already decided a 10 day plan, which is exactly what we have on track before the first two races of the season in BSB and we know exactly how we intend to use them.

Cartagena and Guadix will also see Gary get his first run out on the GBmoto Superbike and Superstock machines that he’ll be competing on. We’ve been working in direct contact with Kawasaki and the factory in Japan to build the two bikes and I believe that with the testing in place Gary will be able to look to challenge from the off at the North West. Although you always need some luck on your side, I have a really good feeling about Gary winning races on our bikes too.”