As new season approaches
Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) will begin his defence of the Supersport World Championship at Phillip Island, and the Australian is bracing for attacks from all directions.
Although the championship has lost two of last year's top
three riders - Brookes and Rea - Pitt is under no illusions that the season opener will be the start of a long and difficult campaign.
"Sure, a few have left, but just look at the replacements: Eugene Laverty, Anthony West, Cal Crutchlow and, of course, my Honda teammate Kenan Sofouglu, who won the title in 2007", said Pitt. "The championship is stronger than ever and I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Pitt, who lives between the Isle of Man and Australia's Gold Coast, will compete in the opening two rounds of this year's championship on last year's CBR600RR, but he's not losing any sleep over it.
"The parts hadn't arrived in time to get the new machines up and running, so we made the decision to start the year on the '08 bikes", said Pitt. "I'm on a fully developed machine and I know it's fast around Phillip Island. At the last major test in Portugal, not much was achieved because of the bad weather, so I'm really looking forward to heading down to the Island this weekend for some testing and putting in some long runs in preparation for March 1.”
Pitt won last year's Phillip Island race, which resulted in a thrilling six-way charge to the finish line.