With the winter break drawing to an end CIA Landlord Insurance Honda head to Portugal to kick off their 2018 World Supersport Championship campaign with a two day test at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimão this weekend.
Riders Andrew Irwin and Niki Tuuli are both newcomers to the team for the 2018 season and will be using the upcoming testing to begin the process of adjustment to the Honda CBR600RR.
2017 British Supersport runner up Irwin is looking forward to the challenge of learning new circuits and getting to grips with the machine, he said: “I’m really looking forward to finally getting onboard the CIA Landlord Insurance Honda. Portimão will be a new track for me but hopefully it won’t take us long to get up to speed. I’m excited to start working with a new group of people and we’ll take it step by step in the right direction.”
After the long winter lay off, World Supersport race winner Niki Tuuli is also relishing the prospect of getting back in the saddle in Portugal followed by two further days at Jerez in Spain. He said: “I’m really looking forward to our first tests. I’ve been training really hard for this and I’m feeling relaxed, excited and motivated. I have been three months without riding so I have to start slowly and keep relaxed then good things will come. For me there is a lot of new things coming but I’m really excited to learn a new way to work with a new team and crew. I’ve been waiting for these days so long now, I just want to feel the speed!”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster said: “This is the first run on the bike with the new team. Big thanks go to Stu, George and Ellie for all the hard work in improving the team going into the new season. There is more hard work to come when we finish the tests as we only have three days to prepare and get everything in the crates for the first round in Australia but we are all really excited and looking forward to it. There is a really good atmosphere in the team, we’ve got two new really exciting riders and a great season to look forward to.”