INTENSE SPANISH PREPARATION FOR REA AND HASLAM

Jonathan Rea testing at Aragon a week ago Pata Honda riders Jonathan Rea and Leon have completed their preparations for round two of the 2013 World Superbike championship to be held at Motorland Aragon this weekend (12-14 April).

The British duo tested their CBR1000RRs at the 5.344km Spanish circuit for three days last week but opted for an additional test this week to further develop the new electronics system that has been introduced to their machines for the 2013 season.

The second Spanish test took place at the Alcarras circuit, 175km to the west of Barcelona, with both riders finishing their riding duties today before heading back to Aragon for this weekend’s racing activities.

Rea and Haslam currently lie in sixth and seventh places respectively in the championship standings, separated by just one point, following the opening round at Phillip Island in Australia on 24 February.

Jonathan Rea testing at Aragon last week Jonathan Rea
We have certainly made some progress the last few days at Alcarras but it’ll be difficult to tell just how much until we’re back riding against our rivals at Aragon on Friday. I’ve got a good feeling with the bike now and my confidence is certainly higher than when we left the Aragon test last week where we really made zero progress. We’ve been working hard on all aspects of the new electronics system and made some in-roads at Alcarras. Our engine braking particularly is now more consistent and I can hit apexes more precisely, whereas during the Aragon test, I felt a bit like a passenger at times. We were definitely a bit lost there but now we can head back to Aragon with more confidence and see where we are on Friday.

Leon Haslam in Aragon action Leon Haslam
I stayed at Alcarras a little longer than Jonathan and got to try some tyres that he tried yesterday and I managed a pretty good lap time in the end. We definitely had major problems during the first two days at the Aragon test – in fact, it’s not really accurate to call it a test. Although the guys found a solution on the evening of day two, we didn’t really get a chance to try it out on the final day because of the bad weather. So the Alcarras test has definitely been useful, even though we started here with a completely blank sheet of paper. We’ve made some progress and got a good base setting so that we can now go back to Aragon with a little more optimism for the race.

Pieter Breddels– technical co-ordinator
We’ve had a very good test here at Alcarras following a very difficult one at Aragon last week. It’s no secret that we had some problems which came from the fact that we didn’t have a very good series of base maps for the new electronics system. It’s a very complicated development process made more complicated by the fact that everyone has been learning the new system, including finding out how the riders respond to input changes. You can only get that through testing so, although the last week or so has been very intense, it’s been very useful. We’ve managed to find a good base setting for both the riders, although we’ll have to wait until Friday to see how we measure up against our rivals. But now we’re actually looking forward to Aragon and you might not have heard that from me last week!

2013 World Superbike championship, round two

Motorland Aragon, Spain – weekend schedule (local times – GMT+2)

Friday 12 April
11.45-12.30 Free practice
15.30-16.15 Qualifying 1

Saturday 13 April
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 14 April
09.20-09.35 Warm-up
12.00 Race 1 (20 laps 106.880km)
15.30 Race 2 (20 laps 106.880km)

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