HONDA’S REA SALVAGES FIFTH FROM ARAGON

Hiroshi Aoyama - Aragon

Hiroshi Aoyama – Aragon

Honda rider Jonathan Rea finished fifth in the second of today’s two World Superbike championship races at Motorland Aragon in Spain. The races were won by Italians Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri.

Rea took no points from race one after becoming tangled in a crash between two other riders at the first turn. The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland remounted in last place and gathered valuable data before finishing 16th

His Honda World Superbike team-mate, Hiroshi Aoyama, finished 14th and 15th in the two 20-lap outings at the 5.344km circuit.

While today’s front runners have tested here extensively, it was Rea’s first visit to Aragon so he and his team took some consolation from being able to match the pace of the front runners in race two.

The Honda World Superbike Team will remain at the Aragon circuit tomorrow (Monday 2 July) to undertake comparison tests with the new 17-inch wheels and tyres that will be introduced for the 2013 World Superbike championship.

Jonathan Rea – 16th and 5th

It’s been a tough day really, and I didn’t need what happened in race one when two riders came together at the start into turn one and I went down. I got back up and the bike was fit to go again so I thought it would be good to get some experience for race two for bike set-up. We made some changes between the races and that enabled me to challenge a bit better at the front. At the beginning of the race the pace was OK for me but a few guys started to stretch and I couldn’t go with them. I belonged in the second group today, but I was fit to get back in to them and make some passes. The guys had set my bike up a little bit better for grip so, when the tyres went off, I seemed to have more grip than the others. I made my way back past and tried to get a bit of a gap for the last lap and finished fifth. For me it’s like an average result, especially here where we were prepared to take that. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth after I was a victim in race one. But anyway, everyone gets their fair share, and I’m looking forward now to the rest of the races. It’s nice to get out of here with at least some pace and after 50% of the race I was able to match the leading group so, while we can take positives, it’s been an average weekend.

Hiroshi Aoyama – 14th and 15th

I was quite motivated this weekend because this was like my home race as I am based in Barcelona. The first impression was not so bad but in qualifying we missed Superpole again. Most of the time I was in a Superpole position but things changed in the last five minutes. We tried to fight in the race but we didn’t really find a good solution to have a good feeling with the bike. Every time when I go out the team is trying to fix the bike and we are working hard, so I hope soon we can find a good solution and go fast again.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

Jonathan had a really bad start in the first race and immediately in the first corner he got in the middle of the pack and he crashed. He picked up the bike and got going so we had some good information for race two about tyres and set-up. In fact, for race two we went back to yesterday’s set-up and showed better pace than we had in race one. He had another bad start but, after fighting all race, he got into a good rhythm and got away to a brilliant fifth place and was matching the pace of the front runners. I think that with two better starts, things might have looked a lot different. Hiroshi had two bad races basically. We’ll see if we can find anything during our test here tomorrow, but something is not adding up, which is a shame.

2012 World Superbike championship, round eight

Motorland Aragon, Spain – 5.344km, 20 laps

Race 1 results:

1 Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia

2 Marco Melandri (ITA) BMW

3 Carlos Checa (ESP) Ducati

4 Chaz Davies (GBR) Aprilia

5 Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aprilia

6 Michel Fabrizio (ITA) BMW

14 Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Honda World Superbike Team

16 Jonathan Rea (GBR) Honda World Superbike Team

Race 2 results:

1 Marco Melandri (ITA) BMW

2 Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aprilia

3 Chaz Davies (GBR) Aprilia

4 Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia

5 Jonathan Rea (GBR) Honda World Superbike Team

6 Leon Haslam (GBR) BMW

15 Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Honda World Superbike Team

Championship points after eight of 14 rounds:

1 Biaggi 248.5, 2 Melandri 200.5, 3 Rea 183, 4 Checa 175.5, 5 Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki, 6 Haslam 142

Next round: Brno, Czech Republic – 20-22 July

Video of Rea ahead of today’s race


 

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