Brayden Elliott believes he is set for a breakout year on the British Superbike scene, after a win in the first round of No Limits Championships at Donington Park last month, before a terrific two days of testing at Silverstone National on April 28-29.
The Tumut product is riding a new bike, jumping aboard a modified 2021 Suzuki GSX-R1000R that has an estimated top speed of 305 -plus kilometres per hour, and he explained how he was tracking ahead of a June start to the BSB Superstock Championship.
“With the season starting in the last weekend of June, we still do a full 11-round championship finishing in October, so it’s going to be absolutely flat out,” Elliott said.
“Until then, BSB have done their best to offer as much official testing as possible, as only some teams have managed to get abroad and test during the winter.
“We had our first official test yesterday (Thursday) and personally it was great. This is the first time all the teams come out in colours with new bikes to try and throw down the fastest time and prove who’s done the work in the off season.
“I spent much of the day in the top three before finishing fifth overall – I was only 0.1 seconds from the fastest time set, so that was satisfying.”
With the BSB Superstock Championships Elliott’s main focus, he said he wouldn’t be able to defend his 2020 No Limits Championship title.
“Starting the season with the No Limits Championship was mainly just to get track time,” Elliott said.
“Circuits only opened a few weeks ago, so I haven’t ridden a bike in six months – I needed to get any track time possible and this was best achieved at a race meeting.
“Due to the condensed BSB season, I don’t have the time to try and retain my No Limits Championship title again, but that was never my focus.
“I might do another round or so for track time, but otherwise BSB is my only focus.
Still, Elliott took a lot of confidence from his first win of the season when competing against other leading superstock riders, and he believes he will be pushing for BSB Superstock podium finishes come June.
“Getting the win and starting things so well was great. I instantly hit very fast lap times and I was competing against last year’s BSB STK1000 champion, so that gave me a good gauge of my speed as this is the title I am trying to take,” Elliot said.
“That alone was nice for my confidence but after a strong finish last year, I felt ready to be at the pointy end from the get go.”
A new bike and a good start to testing is the result of a new team according to Elliott, who is aspiring to be the best in England.
“One of the main things I am trying to do to ensure success this season is by having a whole new crew,” Elliott said.
“I have only maintained one team member from my previous few seasons, and now have a new crew chief, head mechanic and rider coach.
“We are a very small team compared to some of the efforts here, but we all want the same thing and I feel we are already proving what we can do.
With a new team, Elliott also has a new workshop, which he believes is making a difference too.
“On top of this, my team finally moved into a proper workshop, which had to be organised, so this also took up most of the winter,” Elliott said.
“This was a great change, as it’s been difficult running a race team from my home.”
A long, tough winter has Elliott keen for the season ahead, with Covid-19 still making things difficult in England.
“Off season was tough. It was our first full winter in the UK, our first Christmas away from home and combined with minimal daylight hours, complete lock down, snow – it was hard,” Elliott explained.
“It’s been two birthdays for Eliza and I since we have seen any family, so that’s taken its toll.”
For the moment, testing and work on his bike will be a focus, while Elliott is also preparing for minor surgery so he is ready and raring to kick off the season.
“I had an operation in the off-season, which unfortunately wasn’t a success but I didn’t realise this until I started riding again,” Elliott said.
“I’m going back in for surgery next week, which is frustrating but I anticipate a quick recovery with a maximum 10 days off riding.”
Elliott and his team will kick off their BSB Superstock season at Oulton Park on June 25-27.