Former New Zealand 600cc class champion Gareth Jones is on track for glory after his first test of 2011 with the Wilbers – BMW team.
The first test of 2011, in Spain, was not only Jones’ first time on the bike for the new year, but also the first official outing for the entire Wilbers – BMW outfit for 2011.
The test was at the very undulating Parcmotor circuit, about 45km North West of Barcelona and was host to the BMW race camp where 40 riders from various countries and championships were invited by BMW to attend and utilise the services on offer by the manufacturer.
The Australian rider wasted no time in getting back into the swing of things. The 2009 New Zealand 600cc champion took to the new BMW S1000RR fitted with the Wilbers suspension components like a ‘duck to water’.
The warm Spanish sun provided 2 perfect days of fine weather training followed by a 3rd and final day of testing in the rain. This was a perfect scenario to find the best settings for all conditions and to test the ABS and electronics alongside the Dunlop wets for the first time in the rain.
Jones immediately felt comfortable on the bike, working together very closely with his engineers, they were able to reduce the lap times very quickly and ultimately ended the final day of dry testing on top of the time sheets, with Czech rider Michal Filla in second, (+0.379) and 2010 IDM runner up Werner Daemen in Third (+0.786).
The final day of wet testing was also a fantastic step for Jones and the team, the conditions allowing Jones to become very well acquainted with the advanced safety features of the German machine.
“This bike is amazing, I feel so comfortable on it and I can push very hard in places where I have never been able to before,” said Jones.
“The feedback I get from the Wilbers suspension is truly confidence-inspiring and I have developed a real trust with my mechanics and work together very closely to find the answers to any problems that have come up. Testing in the rain was also a huge step for me in terms of confidence and with the help of the advanced BMW features I almost felt like I was riding in the dry!
“It’s a really professional package riding for the Wilbers-BMW team and I can’t wait for the season to get started.
“I want to thank the team and BMW very much for putting so much effort in to me this year and I know that with the upcoming tests next week in Spain, we can further cement our confidence on the bike and develop an even better understanding of working together to produce the best results possible.”
The team have a small break now until the official Dunlop test starts next week in Albacete and then immediately followed by Valencia.