Oulton BSB test: Tyre management is key for Valentine

Jack Valentine with one of his rider's Luke Mossey
Jack Valentine with one of his rider's Luke Mossey Picture: Impact Images

JG Speedfit Kawasaki team manager Jack Valentine has put his team’s recent race winning success down to how riders Leon Haslam and Luke Mossey have managed their tyres - and the fact they have done it ‘superbly’ in order to reach the top step of the MCE British Superbike rostrum.

At the opening Donington Park round, Haslam was crowned the double race victor, then at round two it was Luke Mossey who dominated at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit and Valentine told Bikesportnews.com that their strong form was also down to a positive pre-season testing schedule.

During the Oulton Park test the riders have been working with an engine upgrade and a new Arrow exhaust,. Both helped to push Haslam under lap record pace during the test sessions, with a 1’34.134.

“Really pleased with how it has gone. We had a good pre-season in Spain testing and we have carried that through to the first two rounds and the hard part is trying to keep it up,” said Valentine, speaking to Bikesportnews.com at the circuit.

“Trying to get a good base setting going into next week and have both riders confident so they can come to the meetings next week strong. I have always believed in having a good pre-season test and that is what we did. I was pleased when we came back from there the lap times we have been doing.

“Also not just going for lap times but doing race simulations as that we have been concentrating on, so we understand tyre wear. We have proved that in both races this year that the riders have managed the tyre superbly and that has helped them to win.

“We have new engine spec which we started with at Brands Hatch, because we were a little bit behind in terms of engine development and we didn’t want to rush that so we did the first round on last years spec, now we have introduced our new 2017 spec with a new exhaust system from Arrow and that is working extremely well. I think it will work even better around here than at Brands Indy.”

Now the team have started off so strongly they have the even harder task of trying to stay on top. At the moment both rider’s are one-two in the overall championship standings, but Valentine is confident that Mossey and Haslam will make it into the Showdown.

Valentine added: “We have got a lot to live up to now, in theory we have got two riders who bar from seeing any unforeseen problems should qualify for the Showdown. So the main aim for us is to try and get podium credits. It is too early to start predicting things. In pre season we were experimenting with the tyres to get the best out of it with different track temperatures.”

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