Visiontrack Ducati rider Christian Iddon enjoyed one of his better seasons in BSB last year with the Paul Bird led team as he claimed his first win in the series, whilst also pushing team-mate and eventual champion Josh Brookws down to the last race at Brands Hatch. 

In 2021, pre-season testing is so far at the halfway stage with Silverstone and Snetterton both in the books. 

While Snetterton didn’t provide much in terms of track time and a feel for where teams and riders are due to weather impacting two of the three days, Iddon was fastest in the two full sessions that were completed, while consistently running towards the sharp end at Silverstone before finishing P9 on combined times. 

In a video chat with the second year Ducati rider, I asked him about both tests and his initial feeling with the bike.

"Yeah I feel really good! At Snet we weren’t doing the first day anyway, so even though nobody went out, we weren’t there. Day-two was the only day we got any running. Session one was super green and the track was a couple seconds off the pace - little bit further actually, but we were still quickest and still best in the conditions," said Iddon. 

"Session two was actually not bad conditions. Apart from being a bit windy the track temperature got up there and it was nice to be quickest in that session. I take a lot more interest in dissecting the real times that people do. By real times I mean how many (laps) people can really do. 

"You get so many putting heaters in. So in terms of real times we were well on the pace, so that was good. To finish off on Snet, it was a test slash not test as we did such little running that nothing really happened you know. 

"Other than being a little bit of a confidence booster seeing P1 on the board you can’t take anything from it. We weren’t able to really understand too much from what we were hoping to understand, as we didn't get through any of the things we planned on getting through." 

Looking at the Silverstone test which provided much better conditions, Iddon mentioned to me that it was ‘probably the most progress’ made on the Ducati Panigale V4 R since joining the team. 

Iddon added: "Silverstone was really, really good. I feel that the Silverstone test was probably the most progress I’ve made on that bike since I threw a leg over it. 

"Bit of a funny one in terms of where I finished - think I was ninth overall in the combined times. But again, if you look at what people were doing - the real situation - of course you don’t know what people are working on, but I do know for us I was just going out and doing long runs and I was genuinely not interested in doing a fast lap. 

"That was the same scenario at Snetterton. We had a plan, we stuck to it and hopefully that comes good for the races."

I also asked Iddon whether he feels ready to go two steps better in 2021 and claim a first BSB championship after finishing third last year. 

Iddon said: "Yeah I do! But I thought that last year too. I feel ready for the challenge! I know what I’m getting myself into, but I know the bike much better. 

"Again, it was the same for everyone but the way the championship was last year made it more difficult for a rider on a new team because the weekends were much busier with three races. 

"I prefer three races, but in terms of trying to set something up it makes it more difficult because you lose a practice in play for a race, which is why we stuck so diligently to a setup and didn’t deviate from it too far. 

"I feel like I understand how to ride the bike better and that’s not something where you go ‘I understand how to ride the bike better’, it’s just that you find it easier to get the most out of a package which just comes with experience and time."