Before the start of the first official World SBK test in Phillip Island Monday morning, the Honda World Superbike team unveiled its 2012 livery with team riders Jonathan Rea and Hiroshi Aoyama.
The CBR 1000 RR superbikes feature a livery that’s based on the stock color scheme of the 2012 Honda Fireblade, which celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year. Further enhancements were completed by designer Tadao Baba.
Both Rea and Aoyama, who competed on the San Carlo Hodna Gresini team in 2011 MotoGP, commented on the upcoming season and the new livery of the Honda WSBK team, which retained Castrol as a secondary sponsor.
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike CBR1000RR, No. 65) says: “It’s been a long winter, especially with the new testing ban in December and January, and, in spite of the test last month, I can’t wait to get back on the bike again.
“Of course, we’ve still got a lot of development work to do with the new bike, but this test will be a chance for us to gauge how much progress we’ve made against our rivals over the winter. It’s next weekend that really counts though, and I’m really looking forward to the new season. I think the new design is really cool and it maintains that strong link between the race bike and the showroom model.”
Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike CBR1000RR, No. 4) says: “For me, this test will be very important because it is two more days on the bike and tyres, which are new for me this season. There is a good atmosphere in the team and we had a good test at Phillip Island in January.
“There is still a lot for me to learn, however, and the first race is only one week away. For the first time, I will also see the other bikes and riders in the championship. I know many of them will be very strong but I’m looking forward to competing with them this season. The bike and my new leathers look very nice, I think, so we go to work now.”
On Monday during the first day of two in the first official test of 2012 World Superbike, Rea was fourth fastest, 0.432 of a second slower than the overall leader Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati). Aoyama was 15th quickest, just over a second slower than Rea.