CIA Landlord Insurance Honda will get back down to business at the Nolan Portuguese round of the World Supersport Championship in Portimão this weekend. The long summer break saw the team embark on a MecTronik ECU development programme and CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Kyle Smith is looking forward to the challenge of converting what the team have learned into results on the track.
Smith said: “I am excited to get back racing after a long break. We have a new ECU that we will be using at Portimão. I think it will be a challenging weekend. I really think we can be more competitive with the new ECU but it might not happen straight away. It will take some time to get the most out of it but I am confident that with the team we will achieve it.”
Teammate Peter Sebestyen makes his second outing with CIA Landlord Insurance Honda at the 4.592km Algarve circuit this weekend and after a positive test there in August he is aiming to improve on his performance last time out at Misano.
Sebestyen said: “I can’t wait to be on the bike and race again. I’ve been waiting for this since Misano because I really enjoyed working with the new team there. We had a two day test which I think was quite promising, I feel that I could improve my performance and start catching up to Kyle Smith. The most important thing for me is to stay calm during the upcoming race weekends and then the results will come.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “As always it’s been a long summer break. We use this period to do development for the next season and this year was no exception. With the announcement that MecTronik will be the ECU supplier for all manufacturers next year in World Supersport and having the opportunity to use them in the last four races it’s been quite a busy time for us. We tested this on Kyle’s bike at Portimão and with Peter we worked on the best possible balance of chassis and suspension for him for the best results of the season.
For the race at Portimão we will run Kyle on the MecTronik and we’ll hopefully get to a really good level. With Peter we will concentrate on the bike the way it is. We want to get him up to speed on the machine and race ready. Peter looked good in the test at Portimão so I am confident he can challenge well in the points in the race.
So going from there we will look to run both riders on MecTronik for the last three races but as I said it is a development programme and obviously we want it to be on winning pace from the word go and that is what we are aiming for. Development is always difficult so that is why we will be using it for the last four races to be in the best possible position for the start of 2019.
Portimão has always been a good track for us our bike has always run well there. We’ve had some really good results; we’ve won there and last year we were on the podium with Cluzel and got the fastest lap so we go there in a confident frame of mind. I would say we could look for our best result so far this season and aim to challenge as high as possible at what has been one of our home tracks. We are really excited for Portimão and looking forward to the last third of the season.”
The World Supersport action from Portugal kicks off with Free Practice One on Friday 14thSeptember at 10:40hrs (Local time).