Stiggy Motorsport took its first tentative World Superbike steps as new signings Leon Haslam and Roberto Rolfo joined in with the post-season tests around the Portimao circuit.
Having acquired one of the Paul Bird Motorsport Hondas to sample over the course of the two days, both Haslam and Rolfo shared the machine, with Haslam managing the seventh best time and Rolfo the eighth.
For Haslam, who scored a podium finish in Portugal on his final outing for HM Plant Honda, the test was a chance to learn his way around a full WSBK-specification bike, complete with an updated electronics package.
Managing a best lap of 1min 44.6secs, four tenths quicker than experienced Honda rider Rolfo, Haslam was pleased with his first impressions of the machine.
“I'm really happy! It has been a positive two day shakedown for us. The team works really well and we found out a lot of information about the bike. I managed a 1:44, only 0.5 off my best time with HM-Plant last weekend, so I'm happy with that. My goal for today was to get in the 1:44s and I'm pleased we managed that. We know what we need to change and what work has to be done for the next test, so that's good.”
In addition to Haslam and Rolfo, Stiggy's new Supersport signings were out on track. Most notable was Anthony West, who spent his time adapting to the new bike following a season in MotoGP with Kawasaki.
"For me these two days has been all new, new bike new track. It is a very big difference coming from a MotoGP bike to this this one but, all and all, I think we managed to do pretty well. The first day was just about getting comfortable on the bike and, although we need some more adjustments, we are definitely getting closer. The team and I are working well together and we managed to improve the bike and my lap-times every time I went out.”
Marking the start of what team manager Johan Stigefelt hopes will be a successful tenure at Superbike level, he was satisfied with the low profile debut of his four new riders.
“In the Supersport class we were using the same bikes in the test as this season - except for the suspension where we tried some new parts from Ohlins. The test was just to let our riders get a first impression of the team, the machinery and find their right positions on the bikes.
“In the SBK class we are using only one bike at the moment, with Leon and Roby sharing it so that they can evaluate the engine and electronics side for the first time.”