HASLAM AND REA BACK TO SBK ACTION AT SILVERSTONE

Pata Honda riders Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea will return to World Superbike action this weekend (2-4 August) for the ninth round event at Silverstone in the UK, just a few days after contesting the prestigious Suzuka 8-hours race in Japan.

The Suzuka race was won by Haslam, who teamed up with Pata Honda World Supersport team-mate, Michael van der Mark, and Japanese rider Takumi Takahashi. Rea had looked to be well-placed to repeat last year’s victory before his own team-mate, Ryuichi Kiyonari, crashed out of contention.

Both riders will arrive at Silverstone following an event with Honda colleagues at the company’s European HQ on Wednesday 31 July and both are keen to get back to their regular Honda CBR1000RR machines on the fast and flowing 5.902km circuit in central England, home to the British Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Haslam, 30, has not won at Silverstone but visited the podium in 2010 and was leading last year’s race on slick tyres when rain began to fall, turning the circuit into an ice rink and the race into a lottery.

Rea took two second-place finishes in that 2010 event and the 26-year-old missed the following year’s races through injury. He took fourth place in race one last season but was bizarrely taken out by another rider’s machine immediately after crossing the finishing line.

PATA Honda's Leon Haslam Leon Haslam
Suzuka was an amazing experience and I struggled a bit during my first stint, probably trying too hard to be precise and have a good pace. Also, the compensating I had to do for my leg ended up giving me some really bad back problems, but it was all worth it in the end. Now it’s all change for Silverstone this weekend, but I’m really looking forward to it. I love the circuit and was on the podium in 2010 and led the race last year when we all got caught out on slicks when the rain came. I missed the races at Donington earlier this year because of my leg injury, so this will be the only chance to ride in front of the British fans this season, so it’s something I’m really looking forward to.

PATA Honda's Jonathan Rea Jonathan Rea
I was devastated to finish the 8-hour race the way we did, but these things happen and I was happy for my Pata Honda team-mates and for Honda. I’m feeling really good though and looking forward to getting back on my bike this weekend. I’ve had mixed results at Silverstone in the past and I’ve had some great races there; I particularly remember a couple of second places in 2010, which I really enjoyed. We struggled a bit last year, but it’s a nice circuit to ride. The modifications made to the track in recent years have made it better but I’ll attack it the same way I attack every other circuit. Of course, being a second British round, it’ll be good to see a lot of friendly faces there, even if they can be quite far away in some places.

2013 World Superbike championship, round nine
Silverstone, UK – weekend schedule (local times – GMT+1)

Friday 2 August
11.45-12.30 Free practice
15.30-16.15 Qualifying 1

Saturday 3 August
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 4 August
09.20-09.35 Warm-up
12.00 Race 1 (18 laps 106.236km)
15.30 Race 2 (18 laps 106.236km)

{lang: 'en-GB'}