Reigning British Supersport champion Alastair Seeley revelled in the opportunity to blow off some winter cobwebs following a two-day test at Kirkistown in Northern Ireland.
Seeley, who has stepped up to the prestigious MCE Insurance British
Superbike series in 2012 alongside Australian rider Josh Brookes, declared himself happy with his initial impressions of the Tyco Suzuki GSX-R1000.
“It was good to get back out there again because it's been a long winter and it was nice to feel the power of a Superbike again. I was just getting a feel for the bike again and it's had a few changes made to it because it's been built specifically for me, like a shorter fuel tank and a new swingarm,” he told Crash.Net.
“You can't guarantee what the weather is going to do and it's a pity the test hadn't been last week when it was a lot milder. The track was very cold and the tyres cooled down very quickly, so it was hard to get a real feel of what the bike was doing.
“We collected a lot of data though and worked on the new control electronics system and now it's a matter of looking through all the information we collected before the next test.”
Seeley, also a big favourite for the Relentless International North West 200 in May, is aiming to win the title as he embarks on his second full season in the elite BSB class after finishing sixth overall in 2010.
“The title has to be my goal,” he said. “It won't be easy because there are a lot of fast riders out there, but I have to set my sights high, try and win the title and hopefully have a chance to move to World Superbikes.
“I'll be going out there from the start to try and win races and I'll give it my all.”
The BSB grid has a distinctly international flavour this year with former World Superbike hero Noriyuki Haga (Swan Yamaha), ex-World Supersport riders Luca Scassa (Padgetts Honda) and Florian Marino (Splitlath Redmond Aprilia) plus former MotoGP winner Anthony West (Supersonic BMW) among the recruits to the highly respected domestic championship and Seeley is relishing the challenge.
“It's good for BSB to have such a high calibre of riders this year but for me as a rider they're just someone else I have to beat,” he said.
“There's plenty of strength in depth in the class but it's going to be interesting with the new electronics rules because I think it will place more emphasis on the rider and having a smart team around you, plus it could make it a more level playing field for those riders who don't have a factory team behind them.
“I've an older and more experienced team around me this year and that could be a big positive.”
Tyco Suzuki's Conor Cummins also participated in the test as he counts down to the international road racing season, although Guy Martin did not attend.