HONDA’S SUPERBIKE DUO HEAD FOR SEASON FINALE

Jonathan Rea and Hiroshi Aoyama will line up for the final round of the 2012 World Superbike championship this weekend (5-7 October) at Magny-Cours in France, rounding out the 25th year of the world’s foremost production motorcycle race series.

The Honda World Superbike duo are out of contention in the title race this season but both are looking to finish the season in style with two good races at the 4.411km circuit, which lies just 10km south of Nevers in central France.

Rea has enjoyed mixed fortunes at Magny-Cours, finishing on the podium in his first World Superbike visit in 2009. However, the 25-year-old from Northern Ireland struggled with a wrist injury the following season. He started from pole position for last year’s races but a crash in race one and a technical problem in race two prevented Rea from converting his advantage.

For the final time this season, Hiroshi Aoyama, must learn a new circuit but the Japanese rider is looking forward to finishing his time with the Honda World Superbike Team on a positive note.

Jonathan Rea

Jonathan Rea

Jonathan Rea
I’m really looking forward to going to Magny-Cours this weekend and trying to finish this season off in style. We often get some variable weather at this race, with pretty cold mornings, but it would be really nice to avoid another race that’s dictated by conditions like we’ve had a few times this year, including race one at Portimao. It’s especially frustrating when we’ve got the bike working well like we did there. I really like the Magny-Cours circuit though and I hope to have a couple of good races to complete the amazing journey that I’ve been on these last few weeks. It’s not just the last few weeks, actually – 2012 has been an unbelievable year for me, both professionally and personally. I’d like to get it finished properly and then get home to recharge the batteries and get myself motivated again to start pre-season testing and prepare for 2013.

Hiroshi Aoyama

Hiroshi Aoyama

Hiroshi Aoyama
I’m looking forward to learning another new track at Magny-Cours this week. I have looked at some videos of previous races and, although it’s never easy, the circuit doesn’t look as difficult to learn as Portimao. I was able to enjoy that track by the end of the weekend, so I hope to do the same at Magny-Cours. I will try my best as usual but, as these will be my last races with the Ten Kate Honda team, I hope even more to make some good results this weekend.

Ronald ten Kate– team manager
While some might be looking back at the 2012 season, I can confirm we are firmly focused on looking ahead to 2013 with the exciting new line-up in both Superbike and Supersport that we announced at Portimao. In the meantime, there are two races at Magny-Cours to deal with and, for a start, we hope that the weekend will be completely dry. Magny-Cours brings some good memories for us because we have won both races and, more importantly, championships there. We’re not fighting for any titles this time, but we’ll give everything again for the best possible results and see if we can maybe gain a place in the final standings. This weekend also marks the last outing with the team for Hiroshi. It would be nice to finish the season on a high but, unfortunately he has to learn another new circuit, so it won’t be easy for him. While this season hasn’t exactly brought everything we were aiming for, it has been a pleasure working with Hiroshi and we wish him every success both this weekend and for the future.

2012 World Superbike championship, round 14

Circuit de Nevers, Magny-Cours, France – weekend schedule (local times – GMT+2)

Friday 5 October
11.45-12.30 Free practice
15.30-16.15 Qualifying 1

Saturday 6 October
09.45-10.30 Qualifying 2
12.30-13.15 Free practice
15.00-15.14 Superpole 1
15.21-15.33 Superpole 2
15.40-15.50 Superpole 3

Sunday 7 October
09.20-09.35 Warm-up
12.00 Race 1 (23 laps 101.453km)
15.30 Race 2 (23 laps 101.453km)

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