Hiroshi Aoyama

Hiroshi Aoyama

Jonathan Rea finished fourth in today’s second World Superbike championship race at the Nurburgring in Germany after crashing out of race one unhurt. The races were won by Max Biaggi and Chaz Davies as Rea’s Honda World Superbike team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama took two points-scoring finishes.

Starting from the outside of row two, Rea made a good start to race one but lost the front end of his Honda CBR1000RR at turn six early in the race. In race two, the 25-year-old became embroiled in a battle for a podium slot but was unable to sustain his challenge in the closing laps.

Aoyama benefitted from several riders crashing out of race one but still maintained his steady improvements on his first race weekend at the 5.137km Nurbugring circuit to take a top ten finish.

A small change to his bike for race two did not bring the additional rear grip he was seeking for the second 20-lap outing, however, and the 30-year-old Japanese rider finished in 15th place.

Jonathan Rea – DNF and 4th

It’s been frustrating again because we had top five pace for race one but, looking at the data, I made a mistake in the corner before the crash. I arrived at a slower speed but I was carrying a bit more lean angle than on the previous lap, so it was a strange crash, but it was a mistake. Race two was OK at the beginning and we were fortunate that two of the front guys crashed out, which gifted us a couple of positions. But we still need to work on the throttle connection and the rideability of the bike off the corner because chassis-wise we’re almost in the ball park at every race. But getting off the corner, especially when the tyre drops, is our biggest problem and that affects our top speed. It’s been a positive weekend for my riding and the guys are working really hard in the box but, like the previous few rounds, we haven’t been able to convert it into two solid results, so that’s frustrating. Today wasn’t helped by the fact that I spent more time in the bathroom last night than in bed after picking up a stomach complaint, so I didn’t start the day in a good way. But I felt much stronger for race two.

Hiroshi Aoyama – 10th and 15th

In the first race we still had the same problem that we’ve had all season, which is out of the corner I cannot open the throttle as I want. The race was critical for the front, as well, and I didn’t have such a good feeling here. But maybe there was another problem because many riders crash on the front. It was difficult and we managed to finish the race in tenth. For race two, the conditions were different and the grip levels went down. I had a big problem out of the corners and I could not go faster than this morning. I struggled a bit but this was my first race at the Nurburgring and we improved in every session. In the end, we could not reach our potential but we have some data so I hope we can find some new solutions for the next race in Portugal, which will be another new track for me.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

Jonathan had a front end crash quite early in race one and that was of course a disappointment. Race two was a lot better and we got fourth, which was actually quite a relief. OK, we did not quite make the podium but fourth is at least some kind of result. We all wish Jonathan the best of luck at his MotoGP debut in Misano next week. The weekend was difficult for Hiroshi. He had to learn the track and how to manage the Fireblade around the Nurburgring. In the first race he got tenth, but he was helped by a few crashes, and he was fifteenth in the second. It’s not really what we are all working for but we can move on to Portimao and hope for better things there.


2012 World Superbike championship, round 12

Nurburgring, Germany – 5.137km, 20 laps

Race 1 results:

1 Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia

2 Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aprilia

3 Chaz Davies (GBR) Aprilia

4 Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki

5 Leon Camier (GBR) Suzuki

6 Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Ducati

10 Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Honda World Superbike Team

DNF Jonathan Rea (GBR) Honda World Superbike Team

Race 2 results:

1 Chaz Davies (GBR) Aprilia

2 Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aprilia

3 Leon Camier (GBR) Suzuki

4 Jonathan Rea (GBR) Honda World Superbike Team

5 Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki

6 Carlos Checa (ESP) Ducati

15 Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Honda World Superbike Team

Championship points after 12 of 14 rounds:

1 Biaggi 318, 2 Melandri 308.5, 3 Sykes 291.5, 4 Checa 247.5, 5 Rea 225.5, 6 Laverty 213.5

Next round: Portimao, Portugal – 21-23 September
Jonathan Rea prepares for action at the Nurburgring today

Jonathan Rea prepares for action at the Nurburgring today

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