Honda WSBK Wraps Private Assen Test

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2012 World Superbike Testing

The Honda World Superbike team wrapped up a two-day private test at the Assen circuit in the Netherlands Thursday, both Jonathan Rea and Hiroshi Aoyama satisfied with the results.

Rea and Aoyama lost time due to circuit cleaning on Wednesday, but where able to experiment with the latest evolution of the team’s Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade Thursday at Assen, the team’s nominated test circuit that lies just 65km from the team’s Nieuwleusen headquarters in the north of Holland.

Rea headed into the test following a 5-2 finish at Misano World Superbike Sunday. As for his teammate, Aoyama finished 16-12.

Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike CBR1000RR) says: “There was some slippery stuff on the circuit first thing yesterday and it took some time to put some rubber down, but it turned out pretty good in the end.

“We got to try a lot of new stuff, some of which we’d be reluctant to try over a race weekend and we ended up faster than over the race weekend in April. The new engine was a little better on the straights but we won’t make any firm conclusions until we get to Aragon with our rivals. We worked a lot on gathering data for new electronics strategies and we’ve definitely made a step forward here and we’re looking forward to using that.

“The throttle is smoother on acceleration and we also tried quite an extreme front fork setting which gave a good feeling. I’m looking forward to a couple of weeks off now, before re-gathering with the team at Aragon.”

Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike CBR1000RR) says: “I crashed at about 240kph yesterday at the end of the back straight at Assen. I slid for a very long time on the asphalt and I think I was almost cooked by the time I eventually stopped! Apart from that, the test was very positive for me and we tested some things that I like. We have also improved braking stability into the corner and this gives me a lot more confidence. I will take a breather now and prepare for Aragon, which is not so far from my home in Barcelona.”

Pieter Breddels (Honda World Superbike Technical Coordinator) says: “We used these two days to re-confirm some set-up items – linkages, suspension, that sort of thing – and a variety of electronics settings. We looked at an interesting base setting which might be worth investigation and the latest engine developments have been positive, too. We’ve made some progress with Hiroshi’s set-up, as well, and I think he could have gone a little faster, but he was quite sore after his fast crash yesterday. We’ll keep working back at the workshop and take the positives to Aragon and try to put them to good use there.”

The next round on the 2012 World Superbike Championship occurs at Motorland Aragon in Spain over the weekend of June 29 through July 1; Aragon is a circuit that Jonathan Rea has never ridden before after missing last season’s event through injury.