Three-time British Superbike champion Ryuichi Kiyonari has enjoyed his debut running with Bennetts Suzuki alongside new team-mate Tommy Bridewell as the squad prepares to head out to Spain for pre-season testing in March.
Kiyonari has returned from Japan this week and is set to make his full-time competitive debut on Suzuki GSX-R1000 in BSB this season, having claimed a rostrum result with the Japanese manufacturer at last year's Suzuka 8 Hours.
The 33-year-old has completed his first laps with Bennetts Suzuki at a damp Brands Hatch before beginning a full winter testing programme at Spanish circuits Cartagena and Guadix next month.
Kiyonari, who hasn't turned a wheel on a superbike since the penultimate round of the 2015 BSB season at Silverstone last October, says he's delighted to return to action albeit hampered by the slippery conditions.
“I am very happy to be back, I have only been in the UK a day but I was excited because I haven't been on a bike since Silverstone,” Kiyonari said on britishsuperbike.com. “It was wet but I enjoyed it. I know the potential of the Suzuki from the Suzuka Eight Hour, it is a different, but the machine is good.
“The team have a lot of experience. Today our target was to check everything for Spain and that is what we did. Spain will be a proper test and I have confidence with the team, we have a plan for Cartagena and Guadix and I just need to adapt to the bike ready for the season."
Bridewell, who moves from Tyco BMW while Christian Iddon heads in the opposite direction, has echoed his Japanese team-mate's comments and explains the test was important to get comfortable adapting to unfamiliar machinery.
"It was a bit cold and damp today but it was definitely nice to get a few laps on the Bennetts Suzuki for the first time,” he said. “The conditions weren't the best as it was quite damp, it certainly didn't make it any less fun.
“It was important for us to have some laps today just to check everything over so we can then get to Spain and get some testing done and so we are ready to get cracking at the first round."