“FRUSTRATING AND DISAPPOINTING DAY” FOR HONDA AT BRNO

Honda at Brno WSB The Honda World Superbike Team endured a frustrating and disappointing day at round nine of the 2012 World Superbike championship at the Automotodromo Brno in the Czech Republic today.

Jonathan Rea crashed out unhurt in the closing stages of race one while fighting for a podium finish and crossed the line in 12th place in race two after fighting rear grip issues throughout the 20-lap encounter.

His team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama also crashed out of race one after tangling with another rider – both were uninjured. The Japanese rider then had a technical problem which forced his retirement after just four laps of race two. Both outings at the 5.403km Brno circuit were won by Marco Melandri.

Jonathan Rea – DNF and 12th

It’s been a really frustrating weekend because this is one of my favourite circuits and the feeling was not like in previous years – it felt completely different. We worked hard all weekend and got quite close in race one. The conditions were unpredictable at the start, but I found a rhythm and some pace and was battling for the lead. Tom Sykes ran wide and I was on the inside when he cut back and I got ejected, which was unfortunate because we were in a good podium position. In race two I felt something wrong with the bike from the very start. I just had no grip from the rear, but we’ll have to look at the data to confirm that it was just the tyre. I suffered a massive loss of grip on the edge, under acceleration, and tried a lot of different styles to see if anything worked, but it was all I could do to hang on to 12th place. The results are not what I want to go racing for and I’m really disappointed about the weekend. The last few races I’ve felt like I’m on a race winning package but this weekend was definitely below average.

Hiroshi Aoyama – DNF and DNF

Not such a nice Sunday. In the first race, another rider crashed into me so I crashed, too, and that was not so good. In the second race the conditions were better so we wanted to try some things on the bike to get a better position, but after the fourth lap the bike stopped in turn one, so finally we could not do anything. It was not really a happy end to the weekend, but we had more of a positive feeling yesterday so I hope that this is a good direction for us to follow. Now I go to race at the Suzuka 8-hour but when I come back at Silverstone I hope we can be stronger again.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

It’s been a very disappointing day. Race one started wet and began to dry quickly and unfortunately, Hiroshi had a crash with another rider. Jonathan was fighting for the podium until the end and things were looking good. He crashed too after trying to go for a little gap that Tom Sykes left open. In race two, Hiroshi had a technical problem early in the race and Jonathan suffered a lack of rear grip, which meant he was unable to fight for anything and he finished 12th. All in all, it’s a day to forget but we’ll come back strong and try to make thing better for Silverstone.

2012 World Superbike championship, round nine

Automotodromo Brno, Czech Republic – 5.403km, 20 laps

Race 1 results:

1 Marco Melandri (ITA) BMW

2 Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki

3 Loris Bax (FRA) Kawasaki

4 Carlos Checa (ESP) Ducati

5 Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aprilia

6 Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia

DNF Jonathan Rea (GBR) Honda World Superbike Team

DNF Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Honda World Superbike Team

Race 2 results:

1 Marco Melandri (ITA) BMW

2 Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki

3 Carlos Checa (ESP) Ducati

4 Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia

5 Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aprilia

6 Chaz Davies (GBR) Aprilia

12 Jonathan Rea (GBR) Honda World Superbike Team

DNF Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Honda World Superbike Team

Championship points after nine of 14 rounds:

1 Biaggi 271.5, 2 Melandri 250.5, 3 Sykes 212.5, 4 Checa 204.5, 5 Rea187, 6 Leon Haslam (GBR) BMW 160

Next round: Silverstone, United Kingdom – 3-5 August

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