COLUMN: First test on Yamaha Superbike was quite positive

William Dunlop.
William Dunlop.

I rode the Yamaha Superbike at Kirkistown last week and we’re going to take it out in practice on Tuesday at the North West 200.

It felt really good and I was lapping a lot quicker than what I expected to, so that was positive. But it’s going to be a lot different at the North West and we’ll know more when we get the bike opened up in a straight line in practice.

It’s hard to compare to the R1 I rode last year because it was only one day’s testing at Kirkistown, but it definitely felt good and the bike has good power and outright speed.

I’m just gutted that I was let down and didn’t get the track time I needed earlier this year. At Kirkistown, Ian Hutchinson and Alastair Seeley were there and Michael too, and I could see how sharp they were.

I think doing the British championship rounds really helps to sharpen you up and although I was happy with my times, they just looked so comfortable on the bikes and dialled in at Kirkistown.

I don’t expect much on the big bikes but hopefully we can have a good run on the 600. The bike is all good to go and we should be able to do a decent job.

I’m not going with the attitude of expecting much so maybe we’ll be able to pull out a few results.

I’ll definitely be in a better position this year going to the TT than I was last year. At least I’ll have had the North West to get some time on the big bikes and the Yamaha R1 seems to be a good package.

There are no really long straights at Kirkistown but the TT isn’t about long straights and the bike felt good, so we’ll see how we get on this week and then we’ll definitely know more.