Ronald ten Kate is confident his team are well placed to win an eighth World Supersport title this season, despite poor weather preventing them from completing their development work on the CBR600RR.
With reigning champion Andrew Pitt and record-breaking 2007 winner Kenan Sofuoglu fronting their charge this year, Ten Kate have the most coveted rider line-up on this year's Supersport grid.
However, while both Pitt and Sofuoglu enjoyed stints at the top of the timesheets over the weekend, it was Kawasaki's Joan Lascorz that actually came away with the quickest time.
Indeed, with rivals Kawasaki, Yamaha, Triumph and Suzuki all featuring well, team manager ten Kate admits it has been frustrating not to get more miles under their belt.
“Well, the weather conditions have made this weekend a little frustrating. We had a few new parts that we wanted to try but it's really been quite difficult without any extended period of dry weather. Still, we have two world champions in our team on a machine that has proved itself to be a winner again and again, so I am quite confident that we can have a good start to the season at Phillip Island.”
Of the two riders, it was Sofuoglu that came away with the better lap, his 1min 45.397secs proving half a second quicker than Pitt.
“We didn't get much chance to test anything on Friday because it was wet then dry, and even the dry conditions on Saturday were not perfect to test everything properly. But I'm really happy to be back on my bike and looking forward to another test in Australia before the first race to try a few more things. The important thing is that both the bike and the rider are ready for the season ahead.”
Pitt is also looking forward to the first race of the season, to be held on home ground at Phillip Island, after claiming the bike is already 'feeling pretty good'.
“It was good to get back on the bike after a few weeks of rest back home in Australia. We've had pretty mixed conditions here but managed to get a reasonable session in the dry on Saturday.
“We've tried some slightly improved electronics but haven't been able to test any new tyres properly, but the CBR600RR is feeling pretty good – it's been especially well-balanced in the wet sessions. I'm looking forward to getting back to Phillip Island with a test and the first round, and we'll go from there.”