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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.
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.
Just a week after his debut World Superbike championship victory at Misano in Italy, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea finished seventh and 15th in today’s two ninth-round races at Donington Park in the UK.
Both races were won by American Ben Spies as Rea and his team-mate Carlos Checa continued their familiarisation with new suspension components for their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblades.
Hannspree Ten Kate Honda riders, Jonathan Rea and Carlos Checa, are looking forward to battling for further honours this weekend (19-21 June) at the San Marino round of the 2009 World Superbike championship at Misano in Italy.
Last time out at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City, USA, both riders earned podium finishes – Checa taking second place in race one to follow his double win at the Utah circuit in 2008, and Rea scoring third in the second outing.
Ryuichi Kiyonari Speaks.. (4th and 5th)
I got a good start to the second part of race one and took the holeshot I think, but I had a problem with the tyre which was the same in race two. It was moving on the rim and made rear grip a real problem in both races. We decided to go with the softer tyre after warm-up but we hadn’t had a chance to do any longer runs with it. It was OK for the first couple of laps but then the problems started. It’s very disappointing but I guess the results are not so bad, and a lot better than last time at Kyalami.
Ryuichi Kiyonari (Ten Kate Honda Racing CBR1000RR) followed a third place qualification in Superpole with two third place finishes in the Word Superbike races at Monza, in a day full of drama and upset in the championship fight.
The first Superbike race was stopped after a first chicane incident which led to three separate but related crashes involving five riders, one of whom was 21st place qualifier Tommy Hill (Honda Althea CBR1000RR). The subsequent one-hour delay caused further changes of schedule through the day, although race two started on time.