Rea & Aoyama Set for Honda WSBK Tests

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2012 World Superbike Prep

Jonathan Rea and his new teammate on the factory Honda World Superbike team, Hiroshi Aoyama, are heading to Phillip Island, Australia, for some testing this Tuesday through Thursday (Jan. 17-19).

Rea, who finished ninth in the 2011 World Superbike Championship, and former MotoGP pilot Aoyama will pilot race-specific 2012 CBR1000RR Fireblades for the first time since the 20th anniversary editions were launched in September.

And the testing will occur after some comforting news – last year’s title sponsor, the global lubricant company Castrol, will remain with Honda as a secondary partner until the end of the 2013 World Superbike season.

Honda reports Castrol’s “continued support of the team extends a commercial and technical partnership between Honda and Castrol which dates back to 1959, when the Japanese manufacturer first started world championship racing.”

Robert Watherston (Motorcycle Racing Manager at Honda Motor Europe) says: “We’re delighted that Castrol has decided to continue its long-standing association with Honda and, in particular, our World Superbike campaign. We are especially please to have signed a two-year agreement, which takes us to the end of the 2013 season.”

Donald Smith (Sponsorship Manager in Castrol’s Global Marketing Unit): “We are pleased to confirm the continuation of our long-standing relationship and support of Honda and motorcycle racing. World Superbikes is the ideal proving ground for the development of our advanced range of Castrol Power 1 lubricants and we look forward to the future of our continued relationship with Honda.”

The 2012 World Superbike Championship begins at Phillip Island Feb. 26.