HM Plant Honda says it used its World Superbike wild-card at Silverstone as a chance to gain additional knowledge ahead of its visit there later in the year as part of the British Superbike Championship.
The leading BSB Honda team has shown well in WSBK as a wild-card in previous years, but both Josh Brookes and Ryuichi Kiyonari struggled to get anywhere beyond the mid-field at Silverstone on this occasion.
Nonetheless, the team was buoyant about its progress, which resulted in Brookes scoring a 12th place finish in race two, insisting the weekend was more about getting the edge on the competition when BSB returns there later this season as part of the title showdown.
“The weekend didn't get off to the best start for me, as we had an engine problem on Friday in the first practice session and that cost me time on track,” Brookes said. “In the second session we continued working on the set-up and our times continued to improve but we were playing catch-up as what worked at Snetterton for the BSB round wasn't working here.
“We worked really hard with different shock and fork settings as this track is so different from any other we have raced on this season so we had to really get our heads down and make changes to see how they would affect us.
“We did continually improve though each time we were out on circuit and then the second race with twelfth was better than the first, so we were making steps forward. It gives us a better idea of what to expect later in the season when we are back for BSB and we have to look towards the podium again at Brands Hatch next weekend.”
A three-time race winner at WSBK level, Kiyonari had an altogether tougher weekend as he missed out on scoring any points, but is feeling confident about his chances later in the year.
“This weekend has been useful for us as we are now in a better position ahead of the BSB round at the circuit later in the year. We have worked very hard here, every day, trying different settings and it has taken time but I think in the end we will benefit – not just here but also at the next BSB rounds at Brands Hatch and Cadwell Park.
“I need to thank the HM Plant Honda team as they worked to change the settings and make me faster and improve. I am disappointed that we couldn't be nearer the front, but it has been a good test and now I am looking forward to Brands Hatch next weekend.”