Benelli Make Laguna Progress

Glenn le santo
by Glenn le santo
The Benelli Tornado Racing Team was happy with its progress today after the first competitive appearance of the all-new Benelli Tornado 900 triple outside of Italy.

The team is competing in the American round of the World Superbike Championship. Peter Goddard was upbeat after qualifying in provisional 21st position after first qualifying at Laguna Seca Raceway in California, USA.

"We've made steady progress today. We've gone two seconds quicker this afternoon than in the free practice session," commented Goddard. "This morning was really hard because running a completely new bike at a difficult circuit for the first time is a challenge. Laguna Seca is so different to any other track we've been to. But the improvement in the lap times show we' re moving in the right direction with the changes we've made."

The team made adjustments to the suspension and has been working on the ignition mapping. "We need to get a better connection between the throttle and the engine," explained the 37 year old from Mildura in Australia. "It's difficult because we are making so many changes to the engine as part of the development and that means we have to adjust the mapping again each time to match those changes."

The changeable weather at Laguna Seca isn't helping matters, "We need to select a good Dunlop race tyre," said Goddard. "But that's going to bedifficult because each time it clouds over the temperature drops, then when the sun comes out again the track temperature goes up sharply. We're going to have to give tyre choice a lot of thought."

Team Manager Max Zani was also happy with the team's progress at Laguna Seca, "We are at a big disadvantage as most teams have been here many times and have lots of data to help them set up their bikes," he explained. "We've never raced here so we are starting completely from scratch with absolutely no data. But despite this we are very confident and we will be pushing hard to make it into the Superpole on Saturday."

Final qualifying and Superpole are on Saturday at 10.45 and 16.00hrs local time respectively. Sunday's two Superbike races are scheduled for 12.00 noon and 15.30hrs.

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