A healthy start to his 2022 schedule, Christophe Ponsson is hoping to be closer to the front this year…
The 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is already promising to be one of the best yet, with a battle at the front of the field as well as other battles further down. One rider looking to make a marked improvement in 2022 is Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha), with the Frenchman making big gains in the recent Portimao test and hoping to carry that into the future, with enhancements in his feeling on the bike being the main step forward.
Finishing eighth at the end of the second day and going a whole second quicker than he did during the race weekend in October, Ponsson completed 62 laps at the Portuguese venue, improving by eight tenths of a second on day two in comparison with day one. Focussing much of his efforts on rider position and ergonomics, the 26-year-old had plenty of reasons to be happy, as well as getting an update spec for his YZF-R1.
Reviewing his testing progress, Ponsson was positive: “I’m really happy with this test, as it’s the first one back since the winter. We made some nice improvements on the bike, and I can feel it from the beginning and that was a good thing. I felt good on the bike from the beginning, and I also improved over the winter. I feel good and I’m ready for the next one.
“Not looking at the fast guys and only looking at myself, I went one second quicker than during the race weekend last year and this is a good thing. It’s not like a race weekend, where you’ve got the other guys on track pushing you on, so it’s super positive for us. Everything we were trying was positive too, so we are looking forward to seeing the improvements at the next track.”
Ponsson’s 2021 season saw incremental improvements throughout and particularly from the halfway point of the season. He was a regular points-scorer, cracking the top ten on two occasions – his best race result in WorldSBK coming in the Tissot Superpole Race in ninth, before a top ten at Portimao in Race 1. 20th overall but a solid end to the year, he’ll be hoping he can pick up from where he left off at the start of the campaign.
Talking about his aims and ambitions for 2022, Ponsson said: “The goal is to be in the top ten as much as possible. We did it sometimes last year, but we want it to be more regular. It’ll be difficult, as there’s a lot of official bikes with some super-fast riders on them, but we improved a lot in the second half of last season. After what we improved on the bike in this test and my feeling on the bike, we can hope to be a bit more regular around the top ten, between eighth and eleventh and be more consistent.