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Hannspree Ten Kate Honda riders Carlos Checa and Jonathan Rea both finished inside the top four in today’s solitary free practice session at Imola in Italy in preparation for Sunday’s two 12th round World Superbike championship races.
A curtailed schedule meant that today’s provisional qualifying session was lost after track surface problems resulted in the 4.93km circuit having to be cleaned.
With five podium finishes between them in the last four races, the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda pairing of Jonathan Rea and Carlos Checa is in the hunt for further prizes at this weekend’s 12th round World Superbike championship event (25-27 September) at Imola in Italy.
Spain’s Checa has finished on the rostrum on four occasions this season, including two third places during the last outing at Nurburgring in Germany. The 37-year-old is clearly relishing the recent improvements in his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade since switching to Ohlins suspension in June this year.
Ben Spies Speaks… (1st, 2nd)
The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team enjoyed its first double podium finish in round 10 of the 2009 World Superbike championship at Brno today as Carlos Checa and Jonathan Rea finished race one in second and third positions respectively.
It was the first time since the Ten Kate squad began Superbike racing in 2004 that it has had two riders on the same podium. Rea and Checa finished in fourth and fifth places in race two as Max Biaggi and Ben Spies took today’s wins.
Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s two tenth-round World Superbike championship races at Brno from the front row of the grid after setting the fourth fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole sessions. American Ben Spies took the pole slot at the 5.4km Czech circuit.
Despite setting the fastest time at a two-day World Superbike test in Imola, Italy last week, Rea’s performance this afternoon was a surprise to many after the Northern Irishman initially struggled to find a rhythm around the undulating Brno circuit.
Carlos Checa earned himself a provisional front row start for Sunday’s 10th round World Superbike championship races at Brno by setting the third fastest time in this afternoon’s opening qualifying session.
The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider lapped the 5.4km Czech circuit in a time of 2’00.205s, just two tenths off the time of provisional pole setter, Max Biaggi.
Checa’s team-mate, Jonathan Rea, was 13th fastest today as he rode his Honda CBR1000RR Superbike for the first time at the undulating Brno circuit – the scene of his maiden World Supersport championship win a year ago.
The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team heads for round 10 of the World Superbike championship at Brno in the Czech Republic this weekend (24-26 July) in buoyant mood following a successful test at the Italian circuit of Imola last week.
Jonathan Rea, who sits fourth in the current points table, was fastest at the Imola test as the team continued to test new suspension and other components following the switch to Ohlins last month.
Jonathan Rea has put himself on top of the timing sheets after setting the fastest time during a two-day World Superbike championship test at Imola in Italy. The series will return to race at the historic circuit near Bologna on 25-27 September for the first time in three years.
Riding at Imola for the first time, and in temperatures of more than 36 degrees, Rea’s best time of 1’48.670s was two tenths faster than second placed Michel Fabrizio, while his Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Carlos Checa, finished the test in 11th place.