Jonathan Rea emerged with the fastest overall time after the World Superbike three-day pre-season test concluded at Portimao in Portugal this afternoon.
After a total of 143 laps of the 4.592km circuit, the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda rider’s time of 1’42.470 – set two minutes before the end of the final session – beat the circuit best lap of 2009 World Superbike champion, Ben Spies, by two tenths of a second.
In the final World Superbike track action of 2009, Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea set the fourth fastest unofficial time in a two-day test, which concluded this afternoon at Valencia in Spain.
Despite a small crash yesterday, the 22-year-old, who finished his debut WSBK season in championship fifth place, completed 190 laps of the 4.005km Ricardo Tormo circuit with a best time of 1’34.2s as he tested a combination of new swingarm, front forks and electronics on his 2009 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade.
The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team today completed a two-day end-of-season test at Portimao in Portugal where the 2009 World Superbike and Supersport championships were concluded last Sunday.
Jonathan Rea was in scintillating form on his Honda CBR1000RR, setting – on different Pirelli race rubber, not available for the final two races of the season – a fastest time of 1’41.7s around the 4.59km Portimao circuit.
Ten Kate Honda Racing’s Ryuichi Kiyonari has reluctantly been forced to withdraw from the final round of the 2009 World Superbike championship at Portimao in Portugal.
The Japanese ace broke his right collarbone in race one at the previous round in Magny-Cours, France and returned home for an operation. It was the same collarbone that Kiyonari broke at the French circuit during a test last season.
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.
Jonathan Rea and his Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team have agreed renewed terms to keep the 22-year-old on a Honda CBR1000RR in the World Superbike championship for the next two years.
The partnership was confirmed a year ago at Vallelunga in Italy when Rea moved up from the Ten Kate team’s World Supersport effort to a fully-fledged debut World Superbike challenge. However, this new agreement, which runs until the end of the 2011 season, is seen as a fine-tuning of that earlier arrangement.
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.
Ryuichi Kiyonari is looking forward to continuing the development of new suspension parts on his Ten Kate Honda Racing CBR1000RR Fireblade at this weekend’s (4-6 September) 11th round World Superbike championship event at Nurburgring in Germany.
The Japanese ace began using Ohlins suspension at the last round at Brno in the Czech Republic and enjoyed an improvement in his feeling on the bike in the second race there, despite finishing in 13th place.
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.
Ryuichi Kiyonari of the Ten Kate Honda Racing team is confident of improved results heading into this weekend’s (24-26 July) 10th round World Superbike championship event at Brno in the Czech Republic.
The Japanese rider has had an inconsistent string of results thus far in 2009, in spite of two podium finishes in round five at Monza in Italy, and is seeking improvement on his fifth and sixth place finishes at the 5.4km Brno circuit last year.
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.