Royal Air Force Regular & Reserve Kawasaki team will be making their World Superbike debut at Donington Park this weekend, entering full time MCE British Superbike rider Jake Dixon as a wildcard.
The squad, sponsored by Briggs Equipment, are desperate for track time with the new ZX-10RR and team principal Lee Hardy believes the combined sessions over the course of a weekend at the Leicestershire circuit will prove hugely beneficial in terms of setup ideas and data gathering.
“We made massive steps at the last round at Oulton Park and it will be good to go back to a circuit we have already visited this season as comparison will be key for us,” he said.
“Yes the bike is new to us for this year, however personnel within the team at the start of the season held the project back. This required me to make some changes and since bringing Glen Richards into the team we have made huge steps in the right direction.
“Jake hasn’t had anything like enough laps so far to make the headway we expected so this experience will only be of benefit to him and allow Jake and the team to return to round four of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Knockhill hopefully with a much better package.
“With two hours alone on Friday, we can find a really good direction with the bike – the team have opted to run the same bike that Jake rides every weekend at BSB, it make sense to do this and optimise the track time so that all information is relevant.
“There is a structure for Jake to follow and they will be making adjustments at the end of each further session on Saturday and Sunday. It’s an ideal way for us as there is plenty of time and no pressure on us to perform.”
Dixon is looking forward to sharing the track with some of the best Superbike riders in the world but is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.
“This is a test session for us, pure and simple. To be honest, it will be a great pleasure to be on the same track as my fellow Kawasaki riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes, who are both great champions, but we have to focus on what we are there for and that is to get our base settings nailed before the next BSB round.
The team have told me that there are a number of things that we need to try over that weekend and we aren’t going start comparing ourselves to the World Superbike guys. We need to focus on a better performance at Donington than we put in at the first BSB round in terms of laptimes and tyre consistency. I would like to say thank you to my team and sponsors for making this opportunity available to me and I am looking forward to the experience.”
Gary Clements, Strategic Development Director at Briggs Equipment said: “We are really excited for Jake and the team to be given the opportunity to ride the Bike at World Superbikes, Jake is a star in the making and will only get better with more track time.
This is our third year supporting Lee and the RAF reserves teams is all part of our longstanding links with the military community, through our specialist division, Briggs Defense. We wish Jake and the team a successful WSB round at Donington.”