With the 2020 Quattro British Supersport season just around the corner, and with the opening round just fifty days away, we wanted to catch up with our Appleyard Racing teamster Brad Jones (next up team-mate Rory Skinner) to find out exactly what he’s been doing this winter.

Speaking to us from his van after four days on track at Almeria, the 2019 Championship runner-up admitted it was perfect to blow the cobwebs off this early in the year. “It was really, really good, I’ve just completed four days full days out in Spain,” Brad said. “I was a little bit rusty in the first few sessions, but I soon got back into it. It was a really good test, we worked through some new ideas I’m ready to go for the official BSB test at Monteblanco now."

"I hadn’t properly ridden since October, I’ve ridden my pit-bike obviously but that is no comparison, so it was good to get back out and riding properly. It sets me up well for the Monteblanco test, I’ve spoken to Robin Appleyard since I’ve returned to the UK, and I said if I’d just gone to the official test I’d have wasted the first morning by getting myself back up to speed, so at least we can at least hit the ground running there!"

Brad Jones
Brad Jones training pic 05
Brad Jones training pic 03

The winter break has seen Brad split up most of his time away from work in the gym, and on in-door kart circuits with his tricked up pit-bike, but he also paid a visit to Loughborough University. During his visit he went through extensive fitness tests, in order to show which areas needed improvement ahead of the 2020 season.

"Different to last year I have found a good balance of gym work and riding my pit-bike, but I do try to train seven times a week in the gym. I have been doing a lot higher intensity cardio work, because I did a fitness test at Loughborough university, which was really useful.

Based on that they have given me some training implications to improve such as lactic threshold, lactic turn point, V02 max, and lots more. To train those sorts of things you have to really go for it in the gym on the Watt bike, so you could say I have been doing a lot of cycling, but in the gym, not outside, I’m not brave enough for the cold weather!"

Brad Jones

Many racers are now undertaking the tests with the specialists at Loughborough University, BSB stars Jason O’Halloran and Tarran Mackenzie alongside World Superbike race winners Michael Van Der Mark and Alex Lowes all taking part.

"It was really cool actually, I spent about four hours there. They get you on their special bike and connect you up to all their machines and oxygen masks, then take blood samples so they can see where your fitness is at. Things such as how much power you can exert, how much oxygen your lungs need when you’re operating at high intensity. Then based on all the results they give you a full analysis of your performance and explain where you can improve and what you’ll notice when you make the changes in those certain areas."

"It gives you a little bit of data to work towards in the gym, rather than just smashing out 30 minutes as fast as you can, it’s actually showing what heart rate zone you should be working in, and how long you should be in those zones. But it’s nice to have a little bit more of a detailed training programme really."

Brad Jones victory

With just three weeks to go before the team flies out to Spain for the official BSB tests at Monteblanco and Jerez, Brad was really pleased with how strong he felt on his test bike and told us of his plans for what he’ll be working on.

“Obviously I’m sharp on a bike again now after those four days at Almeria, the first day at Monteblanco will all be about learning the track, because I’ve never been there. The bikes are brand new so there is going to be some things that we need to iron out, whether it be electrical or such like, nothing major but there will be things we will need to dial in."

“But by the end of the second day, going into the final day, we’ll be fully up to speed. For me I think winter testing will all be about doing longer runs, completing race runs and focusing on set-up with a used tyre. I’ll just rattle out consistent times and race my dash, rather than anyone else on track, because that will be important for this year so I am fast right up until the end of a race.”