CIA Landlord Insurance Honda riders Niki Tuuli and Andrew Irwin get their 2018 World Supersport season underway tomorrow for day one of the official test at Philip Island in Australia ahead of the opening round at the same venue on 23 – 25 February.
The traditional two-day test is an important opportunity to continue the progress already made at the pre-season tests in Portimao and Jerez last month and the CIA Landlord Insurance Honda riders are both raring to go.
“I’m really looking forward to Australia,” said Tuuli. “We have really good tests behind us and I learnt how to work with the team. Of course, we have to progress my riding but I know we are already on a good level. I can’t wait to ride my bike!”
Irwin said: “Going into the first round I am excited but also nervous at the same time, I think this is a good thing because if I wasn’t nervous there would be a problem. It’s a new track for me but we have got a two-day test before so I should be up to speed by the time FP1 comes. After the Portimão test I know what it is that I have to work on so I’ll work in that way to keep adjusting to riding the CIA Landlord Insurance Honda in the best possible way. I can’t wait to be on an actual grid for the lights to go out, nothing beats racing.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster adds: “Well, Round One is here. We are set up ready for the two-day test then we’ll evaluate everything to get into the best possible shape for the first race of the season. Obviously you can’t win the Championship at Round One, you can’t really lose it either but we want a good solid start to the season. There is a really good spirit in the team, I think we’ve got two really good riders and we are all very excited looking toward this season. I think it will be a good hard fight for the Championship, there are some very good riders out there but after the tests we will have a good idea of our position compared to the opposition and will look to challenge for the podium and the best possible results in the race at the weekend.”
The Philip Island test gets underway on Monday 19 February for two days and on Friday 23 February the team return to the 4.4km Philip Island circuit to kick off the new season at Round One of the 2018 World Supersport Championship.