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Following on from successful tests at Spanish circuits Monteblanco and Jerez, Max Symonds continued pre-season testing in the UK throughout April

British motorcycle racer, Max Symonds, competes in British Superbike’s National Superstock category on his Yamaha R1. The rider also won Castle Combe Circuit’s coveted NG Road Racing ‘King of Combe’ race in 2023.

Earlier this spring, Symonds and his privateer team (Symonds Racing) headed over to Spain’s Circuito de Jerez for some pre-season testing, which was one of his first chances to try out the EBC Brakes Racing GPFAX pads and X-Series floating discs that he’ll be using throughout 2024.

Following on from this successful few days, Symonds used the remainder of April to continue getting the practice/testing hours in at various circuits around the UK, ahead of the first BSB race at Oulton Park.

You can read how the testing panned out in Max’s own words below.

Cadwell Park – NG Road Racing

“The last race of 2023 was mid-October and whilst it was great to get lots of testing done out in Spain with the warmer and mostly dry conditions helping me get up to speed, nothing quite compares to lining up on a grid with 40+ riders and going elbow-to-elbow with them at 150mph+ on the first lap. We therefore felt it was important to get some ‘race practice’ ahead of the first BSB round and chose Cadwell Park with NG Road Racing as it fitted well around our other plans and would be some good testing for the BSB round there later in the year.

“The event itself turned out to be very testing! I got some good start and first lap practice in as well as further adapting to the EBC Brakes Racing GPFAX pads and X-Series floating discs. The bike had so much stopping power we had to change the setup to stop the back wheel coming off the ground on the approach to nearly every corner! There were however a couple of small technical issues with the bike that ended up putting us out of 4 of the 6 races, which was the most technical DNFs I’ve ever had in one event by far.

“The team worked really hard to get to the bottom of what was causing these issues and managed to get the bike fully fixed with just a few minutes before the last race was due to start. I managed to get away well and put in some fast laps to move up from 27th on the grid to 2nd at the finish. It was particularly tricky to do so many overtakes on such a tight and twisty track but it was great to get it done and reward the team with a good result for all their hard work.”

Donington Park – Test Day

I was looking forward to getting out and spinning some laps at Donington Park ahead of the race there next month. We had hoped to work on the dry setup to help us hit the ground running on the race weekend however, the weather had other ideas with non-stop rain and cold temperatures all day.

“The positive side to this was that it was very quiet out on track so I could get lots of lap in and focus on finding the limit in wet conditions. Whilst I would have preferred it to be dry, going around Craner Curves with your knee causing a bow wave of spray with nothing but empty track in front was still pretty cool!”

Castle Combe – Instruction and Test Day

I finished off this month’s riding with two days at Castle Combe Circuit in Wiltshire. The first day I was instructing on a Skills and Track Academy event where we help coach new-to-track and less experienced track riders to improve their skills and confidence. Although this was not useful testing for me, it is really enjoyable to help get new riders out on track and see how much they can improve throughout the day.

“The second day I was let loose to do some more testing, this time in full dry conditions. It was a great day where I got loads of laps in with the hard-breaking, aggressive approach needed to go fast on this track was yet again another good test of the EBC Brakes Racing GPFAX pads and X-Series floating discs.

“Next time out will be round one of the National Superstock season with British Superbikes at Oulton Park!”

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EBC’s GPFAX Sintered Race Brake Pads are for RACE ONLY useThis is a blend of brake pad that has higher friction and far better grip than any other brake product on the market.

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X-Series Floating Discs

Since their introduction, EBC’s ultra-lightweight floating motorcycle rotors have become one of the worlds best selling lightest and best performing discs available for all modern sport bikes.

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