The high speed Hampshire circuit will be a tough test for the presently underpowered F312RR, but Warwick Nowland's team is targeting a top three Cup finish for rider Chris Burns.

"The [Oulton Park] test was more about track time for Chris as we were using the number two bike while the number one bike is away at Life having the electronics upgraded," explained Nowland. "This was the first time that we had the opportunity to run the bike with the 16.5" wheels and the improvement was there for all to see. With no pre-season testing possible for the team it was a great opportunity for Chris to put some miles on the bike and get himself tuned into the bike again."

"The weather at Oulton Park was a bit hit and miss, but it gave us a chance to use slicks, intermediates and wets," added crew chief Paul Snell. "The first session was on Inters and we used that to get Chris up to speed before the weather dried and we put the slicks on the bike. This session provided lots of feedback and we raised the front of the bike to take weight of the front because it felt like it was pushing under load.

"Other adjustments led to increased fuel pressure resulting in more power. The last session of the day was wet and this identified the fact that the bike was oversprung for these conditions. Softer springs will eradicate that problem and we are now confident of being quickly able to find a wet setting, if we need it. Overall the test was very positive and raised questions about the bikes setup in the wet and dry, which we were able to answer," he declared.

All of which meant that former MotoGP rider Burns left the test happy 'for the first time in years'.

"Oulton Park was a good opportunity to make up some lost ground due to the lack of pre-season testing," he said. "Even with only a few laps possible in dry conditions I was able to feel the difference that the 16.5" wheels made, with the bike falling into the turn a little easier. The track time in the wet allowed us to work on the settings for the bike, which will be helpful as we go through the season. However, the best thing for me is that I'm starting to enjoy riding again. I'm happy. The first time for years! And a happy rider usually means a fast one."