After matching times with factory Honda rider Karl Harris at the Donington pre-season test, the Padgett British Supersport team travel to Silverstone this weekend with high expectations of a podium finish for riders Adrian Coates and John Crockford.

Following a learning year in British Superbike, riding the immensely powerful Suzuki GSX1000, Ulsterman Coates is relishing the return to a more balanced package with the CBR600RR.

"It's like getting back on a 250GP bike after the Suzuki, it makes a brilliant race-bike, the only thing I've had to adjust to is running on treaded tyres again. Even then I was amazed at just how good the Dunlops are," said Coates.

New team member and 2002 National Superstock runner-up Crockford is used to racing on road tyres and his experience has been invaluable in setting up the new bikes.

"Because the bikes arrived so near the start of the season we've had to work flat out to get them race-ready as well as make the most of the testing opportunities that have been available to us," explained Crockford. "It's a credit to the team how well it's all come together. Setting fastest time in the first session at Donington was just reward for all the hard work."

Coates and Crockford were separated by less than four-hundredths of a second on the final time sheets from Donington leaving Team manager Clive Padgett delighted with the progress made in such a short time.

"We've only just received all the parts we need to compete with the factory bike and to see Adrian and John in the top six straight away is a fantastic start," enthused Padgett. "After matching Karl [Harris'] times through the two sessions, we ended up about a second off of his final time and we reckon that's the difference between a race tyre and a qualifying tyre."



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