WorldSBK exile Xavi Fores got his first taste of Bennetts British Superbike cut and thrust at Silverstone, and believes he and the Honda Racing team have made a huge step forward.
Fores was in the thick of it during both races, dusting up with hungry youngsters and managed to pull off an eighth-place finish in race two on his debut weekend in the class.
“I have had so much fun this weekend; there have been a lot of riders in such a close gap. I enjoyed a lot especially the second race and we definitely made a huge step forward, it was a shame starting from the back as I lost many places and I went wide many times in order to make up the gap to the front group,” said Fores.
“In the end I was able to have a good pace, which wasn’t so far from the top group, so this means we made a good improvement and I am happy for that, because it’s not been an easy weekend for me.
“I had to understand many things over the weekend; it was like going back to school! It’s quite different to the world championship and I have had to learn, but I am happy leaving with the result from the second race, we closed the gap and I am looking forward to the second round.”
Team boss Havier Beltran admitted his team had to go back to the drawing board after weather conditions were a polar opposite from the rain and cold temperatures of the preceeding test.
“Of course you always want more, but where we finished in race two, if I’m honest that’s where I thought we’d be running around to start with,” said Beltran.
“The test we had here the other week was waste of time really with the different weather conditions, so we had to go back to the drawing board when we got here with the warmer conditions.
“I’m happy with the progress and the direction we made over the weekend, as well as how the team are working and gelling together, that is such a key point and we can build on so much more.
“We have a good foundation, a lot of data and a lot of laps and I think Xavi having his first race here in England he will soon understand the level, as well as the strength and weaknesses of his competition.”