HONDA WORLD SUPERBIKE TEAM HEADS TO MISANO HEAT

Podium For Rea Keeps Him Well In The Leading Fight

Podium For Rea Keeps Him Well In The Leading Fight

Jonathan Rea and Hiroshi Aoyama will travel to the Misano World Circuit in Italy this weekend (8-10 June) for round seven and the halfway point of the 2012 World Superbike championship.

Misano plays host to the San Marino round of the series, although the circuit itself is located close to Italy’s Adriatic resort of Rimini. Normally associated with warm sunshine, it’s always a popular venue for World Superbike riders, teams and fans.

The 4.226km Misano circuit holds particularly warm memories for Jonathan Rea, who took the first of his 10 World Superbike victories there in 2009. However, his last two visits have not been so kind and the 25-year-old from Northern Ireland suffered a serious wrist injury during warm-up last season, which put him out of action for three months.

Currently sitting in fourth place in the overall standings – less than 20 points from leader Max Biaggi – Rea heads to Misano in good form following impressive performances at the previous two races at Donington Park in the UK and Miller Motorsports Park in the USA.

For his Honda World Superbike team-mate, Hiroshi Aoyama, Misano is a familiar circuit. The World Superbike rookie has come to the series on the back of a 250cc world title, followed by two years in MotoGP, but has yet to find his true form. The 30-year-old Japanese will be hoping that Misano turns out to be the place to get his season going.

Jonathan Rea
The last few races have been pretty good really, so we’re hoping to be able to take that positive momentum forward into the Misano round this weekend. There’s a fantastic atmosphere in the team and the recent results have given everyone a lot of motivation to keep it going. It’s important that we continue to move forward because there are still a lot of areas where we need to improve. But there are a lot of positives, too, especially with the electronics, where the crew and my data engineer, Arlan Holterman, have been working really hard. The last couple of visits to Misano have not been good, but I don’t want to be dwelling in the past because we’ve got the bike working really well now – as we’ve shown at Donington and Miller, where it wasn’t so good before. I love going to Misano, though; I got my first World Superbike win there, and the beach and the food are great, of course. It’s also the last chance this seaso n to meet the passionate Italian fans, and that’s always a special treat.

Hiroshi Aoyama
The races in the US were not so good for me and I was sorry to end the weekend at Miller with a crash. I know the racetrack at Misano and I have raced there many times before, so I hope for a better weekend this time. At least the weather should be an improvement on the last few rounds but I will sit down with the crew when I arrive on Wednesday and we will make a plan for the weekend. Hopefully we can try a few new things to get me closer to the front.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager
We’ve had our ups and downs at Misano in recent years so for sure it’ll need a lot of work to get it right this year. However, after the results at Miller, we know that the Fireblade package is a lot more competitive than last year so we’re really looking forward to the challenge. Misano is also a track that Hiroshi knows well, so we’re expecting him to be a lot further forward this weekend.

2012 World Superbike championship, round seven
Misano World Circuit, Italy – weekend schedule (local times)

Friday 8 June
11.45-12.30 Free practice
15.30-16.15 Qualifying 1

Saturday 9 June
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 10 June
09.20-09.35 Warm-up
12.00 Race 1 (24 laps 101.424km)
15.30 Race 2 (24 laps 101.424km)

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