Haslam and Ellison left scratching their heads
With three riders in the squad, the JG Speedfit garage has been a constant hub of activity throughout pre-season testing and racing, as the three riders battle to find a setting that suits their style on the new Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Each of the riders has a very different approach. Team boss Mark Smith-halvorsen admitted he had felt Hickman was probably the man most unlikely to succeed at Silverstone but that he had made the most of what he had been given with the bike.
By contrast the team didn’t have time to make much adjustment to the engine braking strategy and mapping after building up the new engine on Leon Haslam’s bike for race two.
“Starting from 15th didn’t help and the new engine we used was a slightly different spec to the one we had used all weekend, which meant the engine braking and throttle connections were very different to before,” said a bitterly disappointed Haslam.
“Today has been a big disaster if I’m honest. It was a hard-fought battle in the race and for some reason we were also suffering from quite bad chatter but we still came home in fifth. It’s frustrating as I believe we could have had two wins today.”
James Ellison’s weekend started to fall apart when he slid off his ZX-10R during the opening qualifying session on Saturday. That relegated him to the back row for the first race and he ended with a 13th and an eighth-place finish.
“James is a guy who needs his own feeling with a bike and when he has got that feeling he is super-fast but we just haven’t been able to give him that yet,” Smith-halvorsen said.
years of hard-earned experience to make the call.
“We have worked on the harder tyre in Spain and although it probably isn’t the fastest tyre, we can make it work over 14 laps,” he explained. “The soft option is the faster tyre and I will probably race it for 90% of the season
‘I wanted to make my presence felt so I went straight to the front’