The revised Silverstone circuit has been given a seal of approval from most of the World Superbike riders following a day spent getting acquainted with the new layout.
World Superbikes has not visited Silverstone in three years, but this is the first time most of the riders have taken to the new Arena layout.
Reconfigured to be faster and present better overtaking opportunities, Silverstone has already been given a fairly positive reception from the MotoGP and Formula 1 fraternity that have already visited.
Still, the World Superbike riders were mostly impressed by the changes, with Q1 pace setter Cal Crutchlow expecting it to serve up exciting racing.
“It's nice to come back to Silverstone. The new circuit's really good, really enjoyable. It's fast and flowing, but then there's some tight stuff so it all equals out. Our bike is better on the faster corners, but you have other bikes, like the Ducatis, that are better in the chicanes, so it equals out quite nicely.
“There are a few more opportunities to overtake on the new circuit - around the tighter chicanes really, and you'll see some good passes at the end of the Hangar Straight.”
His views were echoed by countrymen Jonathan Rea and James Toseland.
“It's been fun and motivating to start on a new track,” the Northern Irishman said. “The new circuit is really, really fun - really good and enjoyable. One of the big challenges is the bumps. I guess if you had a blank cheque you could re-surface the place - then it would be perfect, the ultimate racing circuit! It's still day one, though. We're off to a good start; we've just got to keep building on that.”
“The new circuit is really impressive - they've done a great job,” added Toseland. “I think the MotoGP riders and F1 drivers had positive things to say, and I've enjoyed going around today. It's a great track layout and there are plenty of places to overtake. Down Hangar Straight and into Stowe is the ideal place, but there are plenty of other good places as well.”
It wasn't a resounding thumbs up from all riders though, with Troy Corser complaining of the bumpy nature, while Noriyuki Haga says he preferred the former layout.
“To tell the truth I preferred the old layout; particularly the final section,” the Ducati rider said. “What surprised me is that some of the new sections are more or less blind corners which made today a little difficult. It was also hard to time exactly when to open the throttle through the corners but I hope that we'll be able to resolve a few things and improve.”