CIA Landlord Insurance Honda concluded two productive days of testing at Philip Island despite the weather causing delays on day one of the Official Test.
Jules Cluzel took the honours in the opening World Supersport session and, as was the case for all the riders in the class, wasn’t able to improve in the afternoon as the track was unable to dry. With the sun making an appearance for day two Jules took third place overall with a time of 1.34.272, narrowly missing out on second spot by 0.084s.
Team-mate Hikari Okubo also had a successful two days, securing a top ten finish just 1.3s behind the leader’s time.
Robin Mulhauser improved in the morning of day two, finishing 22nd overall and is confident he can better this position at the weekend.
Jules Cluzel said: “It was a good test. The feeling was different yesterday to today because the conditions were different. Yesterday it was quite cold and humid but for me it was the better feeling. This is something we need to understand because today the conditions look better but for us it was harder. We worked on the chassis feeling and we improved some things and we have some data to understand. We were first yesterday in some tricky conditions and third today so it means the average is not so bad.”
Hikari Okubo said: “Day one of the test I was position four and day two position ten. I never had top ten in time before so it’s good. I haven’t matched my best qualifying lap from last year yet so I want to push more, the feeling is good and I want a good positon in the race this weekend.”
Robin Mulhauser said: “Philip Island is a tough track for me with bad memories. I knew it would be difficult for me but it was good to have two days of testing without the pressure of the racing this weekend. I think we improved a lot over the two days, even if the weather was bad on the first day. I am already faster than my Moto 2 riding so this is not so bad. I think I was not pushing like in a qualifying session so I think we can do better this weekend.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster said: “The weather was much better for day two and the track temperature was a lot higher which caused us to struggle a bit. It wasn’t as easy or as comfortable today, certainly for Jules. He was struggling in the first half of the session then we improved the balance of the bike and he went back into the 34s. We had one last run to go with 11 minutes left when the session was ended as Jacobsen’s bike blew up and put oil everywhere so we didn’t get the chance to finish our programme. However, we gained a lot of useful information and we will be in a good position to challenge right at the front.
Hikari had a really strong two days, he was fourth yesterday and dropped to tenth overall today but he improved in lap time and he should be in good shape for the start of the event.
Robin improved this morning but he felt a little bit unwell this afternoon and he struggled. He’s gone faster on our bike than he did in Moto 2 which is a positive so we will continue to get him comfortable on the CIA Landlord Insurance Honda.
So now we will consider our settings, obviously we didn’t get to try the last change for Jules, but I am sure it will come good for the race. It’s never going to be easy, there are some good riders out there but we will be there right in contention as normal. I’m looking forward to it, let’s get the season started.”
Round One of the 2017 World Supersport Championship kicks off with Free Practice One at 11am (+11 GMT) on Friday 24th February.