CIA Landlord Insurance Honda riders Jules Danilo and Peter Sebestyén get their 2019 World Supersport season underway tomorrow with day one of the official test at Philip Island in Australia ahead of the opening round at the same venue on 22 – 24 February.
The traditional two-day test is an important opportunity to continue the progress already made at the pre-season tests in Portimão last month and the CIA Landlord Insurance Honda riders are both raring to go.
Frenchman Danilo makes his World Supersport debut at the technically demanding Philip Island circuit and can’t wait to get started there, he said: “I am really happy to be at Philip Island. It’s a great race track and plus we have two more days of testing before the race weekend gets started. It will be really valuable for me to have some track time on the bike and to get a bit more familiar with it. Of course after Portimão we came up with a few suggestions on what to improve on the bike so it’ll be interesting to see how that feels. We will have to keep calm at the beginning, it’s not one of those tracks you want to crash at in testing, usually it can do you quite some damage but it’s good fun to ride there. It’s the first race weekend of the year and the first race weekend in World Supersport for me so there will be quite a few new things but it’s great to go back racing especially in Australia.”
2019 will be Hungarian Sebestyén’s first full season with CIA Landlord Insurance Honda as he returns to the team where he saw his career best finish of 10thplace in Qatar last October. He said: “I’m very excited before the first race. I have been preparing a lot during the winter and just can’t wait to sit on the Honda. We will have two days testing before the race weekend in Philip Island and we have a lot of work to do with my team to find the best solutions for the opening round. I love the circuit, it’s really special and I’m curious about the updates of the bike. The level of the Championship is getting higher and higher in every season but I believe in my team and the target is to improve my results compared to last year.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “After our test in Portimão we made a few more improvements and throughout the season there will be more to come. We are looking forward to this two-day test in Philip Island, it should stand us in good stead. We’ll review the situation after that and have a better idea where we are going into the season. It’s all about what happens in the race on Sunday and that is what we are all working towards, we can’t wait to get started. We’re in a good frame of mind, everyone has worked really hard and done a great job in the workshop so now it’s time for the talking to stop and the action to start.”
The Philip Island test gets underway on Monday 18 February for two days and on Friday 22 February the team return to the 4.4km Philip Island circuit to kick off the new season with Round One of the 2019 World Supersport Championship.