Stiggy Racing's new World Supersport pairing Anthony West and Gianluca Vizziello have begun their 2009 preparations with their first pre-season test at Almeria.
Many eyes are on West, who makes a substantial step from the Kawasaki MotoGP team to Johan Stigefelt's Supersport outfit in 2009, although the test was also a chance for Vizziello to familiarise himself with his surroundings.
Battling chilly conditions around the Spanish circuit, West was nonetheless pleased with the progress made over the two days, reporting that he is feeling increasingly 'at home' with the Honda bike.
“I'm pleased because I have been able to put down many laps over these two days and I got more and more comfortable with the track and the bike. Today was a bit colder then yesterday, which made it a bit more difficult, but I still had a good day finding myself more "at home" on the bike. I'm looking forward to next weekend and doing more testing.”
Vizziello, who raced for Berry Racing and Benjan Honda in 2008, was also satisfied with his efforts, despite spending some of the time learning the track.
“It has been a good test for us. I have never ridden here at Almeria before so, on the first day, I kind of focused on learning the track as well as my riding position. Once I got comfortable, we tried some new bike settings and adjustments. Now I'm definitely more ready and comfortable for Portimao next weekend and the first official test!”
With Siggy Honda providing close competition to the factory Ten Kate team in 2008, Stigefelt is hopeful the combination of West and Vizziello will keep them at the forefront of the title fight.
“We completed a two day test with both riders and I have to say it is looking very promising. Both the riders and the team have put in a big effort and have been working really hard these past days.
“Anthony managed to get more confident on the second day, which was very important for everyone, and he really proved his determination . Gianluca worked hard and managed to put down many laps and so now we can only improve and that's our aim for the Portimao test next weekend.”