Quinnstheprinters.com BMW by IMR looking forward to Superstock season opener
The Quinnstheprinters.com BMW by IMR team are eagerly looking forward to the opening round of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship at Donington Park with riders Chrissy Rouse and Jordan Gilbert both having enjoyed a successful pre-season testing campaign.
The last month has seen the team visit Cartagena in Spain and Donington Park, Mallory Park and, more recently, Snetterton in the UK with Rouse taking three wins at the latter this weekend where he was competing in the Pirelli Sport Series as a final shakedown before the season opener.
Fourth overall in last year’s series, 22-year old Rouse is already familiar with the BMW S1000RR and has used the tests to get back up to speed after a four-month break over winter but also to adjust to the Ohlins suspension. The Newcastle rider has posted impressive lap times at each circuit despite some indifferent weather and has been particularly pleased with the set up he’s found whereby he’s gained increased longevity with the tyres.
Team-mate Gilbert, meanwhile, has been getting more and more used to the larger capacity machine as he moves into the class for the first time. Working well with Rouse and using his more experienced team-mate as a reference, the 21-year old has been adjusting to both the extra power and weight compared to his previous 600cc mount but also the electronic aids that the BMW S1000RR is equipped with. He took a brace of podiums at Snetterton with the New Denham rider looking to make an impression on the top twelve at Donington.
Chrissy Rouse: “Testing as a whole has gone really well and I’ve been pleased with the times I’ve posted at all of the circuits whilst three wins at Snetterton is a nice boost before next weekend’s opening round. I’m obviously used to riding the BMW but I’m using Ohlins suspension for the first time and the biggest factor I’ve been most pleased with is making the tyres last for a longer distance.”
“Last year, I was often fast at the beginning of the race but struggled towards the end but working with the Ohlins technicians, I’ve found a really good base setting. We’ve worked through a lot of things in testing and it’s been nothing but positive so it’s all about the racing now. It’s a busy weekend with a lot of points available so I just want to get stuck in now and open the season with the best results possible.”
Jordan Gilbert: “I’ve had a really good pre-season especially at Cartagena where I found a good base set-up with the BMW. Sam Parry from Ohlins has been a great help, as has Chrissy, and I’ve been pleased with how I’ve adapted to the 1000. The additional power and weight is obviously the most noticeable difference to the 600 I’ve been used to riding and the bike wants to wheelie everywhere! I’ve also been learning the electronic aids on the bike so there’s been a lot to take in but I’m happy with the bike and the team and am raring to go. Getting in as many laps as possible is key and if I can finish in the points at Donington, I’ll be over the moon.”
Ian Moffitt, Team Manager: “It’s certainly been a busy few months for the entire team and we’re now eagerly looking forward to round one. Having signed Chrissy, there’s expectations on him being a front runner from the off and we were hopeful he’d jump on our bike and carry on from where he left on in 2017 which is exactly what’s happened. He’s been fast straightaway and is really comfortable on the bike whilst both him and the whole team have been working really well.”
“The same applies to Jordan and we’ve been really happy with his lap times and the progress he’s been making each time he gets on the bike. The BMW S1000RR is still very new to him but he’s adapted well and the effort being put in by everyone has been superb. We’re under no illusions about how tough it’s going to be as the class is incredibly competitive with some superb riders and teams but the goal is of course to try and win the Championship and we’ll be going to Donington feeling confident.”
The opening round takes place at Donington Park, Leicestershire on March 31-April 2 with three races being held over the course of the weekend.