Oxford Ducati boss Steve Moore believes the playing field in this year’s Bennetts British Superbike series will be completely level with the addition of new models from three manufacturers.
Moore, who has just finished a week’s testing in Spain with rider Tommy Bridewell, believes the new and more powerful Honda, Yamaha and BMW will be a match for the Panigale V4R especially with the rev limit still down at 16,000rpm.
“Last year, we were expecting to start with the rev limit where the road bike is but they set it at 16,000 which meant things like our engine spec, exhaust and gear ratios were for a harder-revving motor, but we know where we are this year,” Moore told bikesportnews.com from a Spanish cafe.
“Now that Yamaha have got their much more powerful engine and so have Honda and BMW got their new bike, I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t keep up. I think it will be a lot more level this year.
Ducati clearly had an advantage last year. Well, the other manufacturers called it an advantage, we call it having the best bike.”
Moore and his team finished the Jerez test second on the timesheets, six-tenths behind Josh Brookes and Moore admitted he ran out setup ideas but achieves his goal of getting Bridewell completely comfortable.
“We went around in circles a bit. Sometimes you run out of ideas and you have to reset. The testing plan went out of the window on the last day, we just started doing things you wouldn’t normally be able to do because you wouldn’t risk it.
“None of it worked. It was a little bit frustrating. Tom wanted a new tyre for a final last lap but we decided against that because that occasionally ends up in hospital.
“When you’re testing, 90 per cent of the things you try don’t work but there is no such thing as a failed experiment, I suppose, it’s always worth trying some things. It either works or you learn. We did a lot of learning.
The positives are we are straight back out where we left off last year. There are a lot of people with a lot of new kit who are a lot faster and we are still ahead of them, which is nice. It’s good to be able to say we had a tough day because we weren’t first.
“We have a new swingarm on its way from the factory, I know this because I have a bill, and there is a new exhaust from Termignoni too which will help us quite a bit.
“At the tail end of last year, we didn’t do much development because we were too busy racing. All the things we wanted to try then, we are doing now.”