The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda World Superbike championship team is looking forward to round ten of the 2010 series this weekend, which takes place at the revised Silverstone circuit, just over 100km northwest of the UK’s capital, London.
Jonathan Rea is hoping to build on his sparkling performance last time out at Brno in the Czech Republic where he won the first race and finished second in race two. The Ulsterman, who recently moved to the Isle of Man, retains third place in the championship standings behind Max Biaggi and fellow Brit, Leon Haslam.
Immediately following his Brno success, Rea, 23, jetted directly to Japan to test with the FSS TSR Honda team in preparation for the prestigious but gruelling Suzuka 8 Hour race, which he contested with team-mate Kousuke Akiyoshi last weekend. Despite two stop-go penalties and a crash with a back-marker, which left them in 42nd place, the CBR1000RR-mounted duo staged a remark able comeback to take the third podium slot.
Rea is looking forward to getting to grips with Silverstone’s new circuit layout in what will be his second ‘home’ race of the season after Assen in Holland. After racing in both British Supersport and Superbike championships earlier in his career, he has a strong following in the UK and is looking forward to an enthusiastic British crowd this weekend.
His Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Max Neukirchner, is hoping to put the last races at Brno behind him after crashing out of both encounters on the opening lap. The German was understandably disappointed for himself and his team, as well as the hoards of his fans who had made the trek down to the Czech Republic from his home town of Chemnitz.
By his own admission, Neukirchner has not enjoyed the level of results that he had hoped for this season but the 27-year-old heads to Silverstone more determined than ever to fulfil his a nd his CBR1000RR Fireblade’s undoubted potential.
Jonathan Rea says: “The 8 Hour was a pretty gruelling race – probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever done physically. I had an awesome time, though, and had a great team who really looked after me well and made the whole experience a lot of fun. Now it’s back to business at Silverstone, which looked like a pretty fun place to ride when I went up to watch the MotoGP race there. Some friends have ridden it, too, and given me a few pointers.”
“But it’s a new challenge and fresh motivation for me, so I’m really looking forward to riding there. It’ll be a tough weekend and, just because it’s my home race, it won’t be any easier than any other. But I’m hoping I’ll get a lot of support and I’m really looking forward to racing in front of the brilliant British fans. We have to forget about earlier races and see how the bike i s performing on Friday morning; then we’ll move forward in as positive a way as we can from there.”
Max Neukirchner says: “Brno was a very tough weekend for me and the two crashes were very difficult to deal with after we had found something positive over the two days before. It was also very disappointing for all the friends who came down from Germany to see the race. I’ve tried to put it out of my mind and focus on the positives though and I’m looking forward to bringing these to Silverstone this weekend.”
“I’ve had a good conversation with Ronald ten Kate and we both really want to finish the season in a good direction and hopefully on a high. Silverstone is a new circuit for everyone and therefore we all start a little bit more equal. I also hope that the weather is a little better than the last time I was there three years ago, when the second race was cancelled!”
Ronald ten Kate (team manager) says: “This weekend should be even more interesting as Silverstone is a new circuit and a new experience for all the riders. I’m quite sure that Jonathan will recover well from his Suzuka experience where, despite some early problems, he and his team still managed to get on the podium.”
“He will certainly want to perform well this weekend too, especially in front of his home crowd. For Max, we all hope he can build on the positives from Brno where he was denied a good result on race day by two unfortunate crashes.”