MSS Bathams Kawasaki duo Michael Rutter and Peter Hickman are keeping their predictions modest heading to Brands Hatch as they prepare for the British Superbike Championship to usher in its new era of technical regulations.
Rutter and Hickman represent an all-new line-up for the MSS Kawasaki team, the former switching from Bathams Ducati – and bringing with him title sponsorship -, while the latter gets his shot on factory assisted machinery following a break-out season with Tyco Honda.
With new regulations introduced to limit the use of technical aids, MSS Bathams Kawasaki says there are still a number of unknowns to consider heading to Brands Hatch.
Indeed, Rutter admits he is still adapting to the four-cylinder ZX-10R having enjoyed success aboard the Ducati V-Twin over the past two seasons.
“Basically I think the first couple of rounds will be a learning curve still which is mostly down to me hopping from a V Twin power delivery to that of a screaming 4-cyclinder machine. That said it will definitely help having an extra days practice on Friday to help with set-up and checking on tyre life.
“The aim of the weekend is to get two good strong finishes and points, it's a long season and the way the scores are zeroed after nine rounds means that you have to be use your head and think of the long game.”
Hickman, meanwhile, is optimistic of coming away with a pair of top ten finishes even if he is aware of the tough competition.
“I'm really looking forward to the weekend but realistically I know that round one will be tough, there's an awesome grid of riders and I'm only a few days into riding a new bike. I think if we can come away from Brands with a couple of top ten's then that will be a good start, we can build from there.
“Brands Indy hasn't been always my favourite track in the past but this is a new bike and a real high level team so it should be much better. I'm still looking forward to it though and fingers crossed the weather holds out!”
Having fronted Kawasaki's BSB effort for several seasons, MSS Bathams will be one of four Kawasaki teams on the grid in 2012 alongside Rapid Solicitors PBM, Quattro Plant and Pr1mo Racing.