TAG Racing enjoy positive opening pre season test at Jerez
Following three positive days on track at the Andalusian circuit of Jerez, the TAG Racing team have headed home in high spirits, after working hard on many different areas of the setup of both James Ellison’s and Shaun Winfield’s British Superbike machines
Prior to the three days, former British Superbike racer, current British sidecar runner and household name Chris ‘Stalker’ Walker joined the team to travel to Spain, asShaun’s mentor, whilst also taking to the track over the three days, assessing his own fitness after recovering from breaking his back in August last year.
Throughout the three days, both James and Shaun worked hard on the front end of their respected machines, most notably with the suspension, testing upgrades that the team have worked hard on during the winter break.
The test concluded successfully for the Derbyshire based outfit, with both riders completing over 150 laps in chilly but sunny conditions between them, leaving the 4.4km Spanish track with smiles on their faces.
Following the three days, a pleased James Ellison said: “I’d say on a whole the test has been very successful for myself and the whole TAG Racing team. I tested the bike back in November at Donington and based on the information gathered the team built me a bike they thought I would like. Well they did a great job! From the first lap, I felt at home on it, which was a huge confidence boost for me. I did have a few reservations changing suspension suppliers after feeling so good on the Yamaha last year, but so far so good.
“We have been consistently chipping away at the lap times over the last three days but rain in the last session put a stop to us going out for a “fast lap” with an SC0 unfortunately.
That being said I’m happy with the improvements we have made so far and I’m excited to get back out in a few weeks to test again.
“Also, this would be a good time to clarify that I have changed to number 11 this year to honour my very loyal sponsors, and personal friends at 11 Degrees. So, look out for the new Ellison merchandise currently being sold by 151’s Clothing.”
An equally motivated and smiling Shaun Winfield added: “This test has been very successful for me, I was really excited to get back out on the bike because I knew the team had been working hard over the winter to improve the package, and it certainly has improved.
“We worked hard all through the three days on front end feel, and a lot of work went in on the electronics side, which was helped by having Chris there. His experience is extremely beneficial, he’s knows more about Superbike racing than anyone around, so to have Stalker on my side of the garage is only going to help me throughout 2018.
“I’m really excited to get back out at Cartagena now in February, we have more work to do, but I’m gelling with the bike every time I go out, and I have a feeling that this year is going to be my best yet.”
Finally, Team Manager Gary Winfield summerised: “This test has proven extremely positive for us all, we’ve worked hard on each day, and we’ve found a really solid position to move forward from.
“James is happy with the package he has under him, he’s worked hard with his crew on the front end feel of his bike, and they seem to have found a great direction. We are still working on the rear of the bike, but we’re confident we can find a solution for our next test at Cartagena in a month’s time.
“It’s been fantastic having Chris Walker with us, he’s been great around the garage, working hard with Shaun on every little detail, and straight away we have seen a difference in Shaun which is positive, and will help him drive forward this year.
“We know have work to do back at the workshop ahead of our next trip to Spain, which will be a crucial three days for us at Cartagena before the final preseason test at Donington, we’ll have small areas to improve but it’s fair to say we’re in a good position, and it is a nice feeling to be able to say that.”
The team now have less than a month before flying back out to Spain at the end of February, and to the Cartagena circuit, for a further three days of winter testing.