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Watanabe shines in Spanish test

RIZLA Suzukis Atsushi Watanabe set the pace today round the 3.785km Al Carras circuit in Spain, out running his team-mate Tom Sykes for the first time, during day two of the teams three day private test.

Although greeted with perfect weather conditions the team had a mixed day on track. Watanabe, two times Japanese Champion spent his day working on chassis geometry and rear suspension settings to find the best set up for the Pirelli tyres on the abrasive Al Carras track.

On the other side of the garage Sykes was suffering from electrical gremlins which reduced his track time while his Rizla Suzuki team worked hard to find the problem. The dedicated crew found the issue and were able to fix it without any further concerns.

Sykes was down on laps completing a total of 55 on the challenging circuit; Watanabe put in 66 laps and pulled a gap of 0.31secs over his teamster.

Team Manager Jack Valentine said: It is a shame we had some issues today as Tom was just getting on the pace when they kicked in. Unfortunately that is all part of testing, now if it does happen on a race weekend we can go straight to the problem and solve it. Im really pleased with the progress that Atsushi is making, he has been really impressive. The plan for tomorrow is to get Tom back on it and have a good day to finish off our test.

Reports from each day of testing will appear on