British Superbike EVO champions Team WFR is getting its 2012 preparations underway early by scheduling a four-day test in Spain.
Running Honda machinery, WFR made its BSB debut in 2011 and dominated the EVO class, with Glen Richards taking the title, while the combination of the Australian, Graeme Gowland, Alex Lowes and Jake Zemke saw it win all but four EVO races.
Having identified 2011 as a learning year before BSB adopts EVO-inspired rules for 2012, WFR have spent the week looking to get the jump on its rivals with a two-day outing at Guadix and another two days at Cartagena.
With Richards taking time out in his native Australia, Gowland – a 13-time EVO race winner in 2011 – and James Westmoreland, who joined the team during the final rounds of the season, have been charged with testing duties.
Equipping the bikes with several 2012 parts, WFR team manager Myles Schofield is setting his sights high for 2012, with an eye on challenging for the overall title.
"We have already completed two days on track at Guadix over the weekend and now the team are heading to Cartagena for the final two days of this test,” he told the BSB website. “We have tested the three different bikes and we have used this year's Evo specification bike as a benchmark and then we have worked on various areas including chassis, swingarms, linkages and we have also been running the 2012 Motec system with the new parameters for next year's championship.
“We have had two good days on track and both riders were able to complete a significant number of laps. The first morning we had to wait a little for the track to dry but James completed around 130 laps and Graeme around 90 and so we have had some good feedback. We can now take what we have learnt here and translate it from Guadix to Cartagena. We have more focus on the suspension at the end of this week and I am sure we can have another two positive days on track.
"For us we want to get as much of an advantage as we can now. We have come out to Spain earlier than before but we have work to do to be ready for next season as we want to build on our EVO championship win with the overall title win now. We are yet to confirm our line up for next season but we expect that this will come soon."
Having entered three bikes throughout 2011, WFR is likely to be permitted only two bikes in 2012 as the result of a provisional limit to 16 two-bike teams.