Danny Buchan has revealed that changes during yesterday’s test sessions helped him finish the day second quickest overall and just a tenth off the lead.
And while he opted to sit out almost the entire second practice today with rain hitting the Lincolnshire circuit, FS-3 Kawasaki’s lone Bennetts British Superbike rider is eyeing a front row qualifying spot tomorrow.
Buchan ended this morning’s first practice just 0.096s behind day one pace-setter Josh Brookes before setting an out lap in FP2 and almost immediately heading in as he decided a wet session wasn’t worth the risk, especially as the remainder of the weekend’s forecast looks dry.
Although his track time today was limited to less than 10 laps in total, the former National Superstock champ believes last night’s test – in which he also fell short of leader Brookes – helped he and his team move forward with the new Kawasaki.
“The evening test went really well, we had a few new things to try from a chassis standpoint and that went really well,” he told Bikesport News.
“We took those changes into this morning but the weather wasn’t good for the session, I only did eight laps. We got something like 45 last night, which was good because today’s been a write-off with weather. Josh did an outstanding lap yesterday and just pipped me this morning, but he is always fast around here.
“Since there was no rain due for the rest of the weekend, in FP2 I thought ‘there’s no point in me going out and throwing it up the road’ so I just sat in the garage. It’s frustrating – you want to ride and you’ve got everything there to facilitate that, but it’s just not worth the risk.
“It was nice that we had the test, but if it were normal – like straight into FP1 – that’s more than enough time for us Superbike riders to get the bike dialled in. By the time you get to FP3 you know where you’re going and you know your way around speed-wise, so the test wasn’t necessarily a vital thing, but it was nice to have something extra.”
While he admitted it’s an about face going from a circuit like Thruxton to Cadwell, Buchan is aiming for a front row start tomorrow to avoid his debacle last season where he had to fight from the back of the grid.
And with more to come out of the new Kawasaki, he will be looking to hit the sharp end come Sunday’s races.
“The last track we rode was Thruxton and that and here are just two completely different circuits. You’re going really fast anyway, but you’ve just got less track here so there’s less room for error – you just have to get used to that.
“The first thing is to start on the front row, that’s the first thing I want going into Sunday. Last year I came from the back of the grid and got eighth place in race two so it can be done, but it’s not an ideal situation.
“My bike, the new bike, seems to be working really well around here at the minute, we’ve obviously not got it to its full potential yet because of the weather, but I’m looking forward to it. Come Q3 hopefully we can be somewhere up on the front row.”