Three-Day Honda MotoGP Test
The Honda Racing Corporation R&D team were on the Sepang circuit in Malaysia today for the first of three tests to prepare the RC212V for the 2011 MotoGP season.
Since the signed HRC riders (Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso) are not able to pilot their Honda machines during the winter break (MotoGP regulations), test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi was on track with special-guest Jonathan Rea.
Rea, who competes in World Superbike with the Ten Kate Honda team, had his very first outing on MotoGP machinery on Tuesday as part of three-day test.
After adjusting controls to his likings, the Northern Irishman tested on newcomer Stoner’s RC212V. But Rea was not completely unfamiliar with his test partner; the two are Suzuka 8-Hour teammates.
Rea and Akiyoshi had good weather during the start of the MotoGP test, but rain came at the end of the session, shortening it an hour.
When the tests was complete, Rea had completed 51 laps at Sepang aboard the MotoGP Honda RC212V.
Jonathan Rea says: "Today I had great fun learning a MotoGP bike and the Sepang circuit is impressive! My body is still not 100% and this is a pity, but I had a very good day with the HRC test team."
"I spent almost all my career on production derived bikes, I just rode a 125 GP a few years ago, and today I had a good feeling riding the Honda RCV212. The bike feels very powerful, the engine revs higher than my CBR1000R and it is easy to change direction. I’d like to thank HRC and Honda Europe for this opportunity. I am looking forward for the next two days of testing."
For 2010, Rea finished fourth with 292 points behind Althea Ducati rider Carlos Checa, Alstare Suzuki rider Leon Haslam and the 2010 WSBK Champ Max Biaggi.
Since entering World Superbike in 2009 on the CBR1000RR, Rea has a total of six race victories and 18 podium finishes.
Rea, who currently resides in the Isle of Man, also has been on a Honda for his entire professional motorcycle racing career; Rea finished in second in the championship during his inaugural professional year while racing a Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR in World Supersport in 2008.
The Honda MotoGP tests continue Wednesday at Sepang.