PATA HONDA LOOKING FORWARD TO SBK FINALE

Leon Haslam looking forward to Jerez

Leon Haslam looking forward to Jerez

The Pata Honda team is finalising its preparations for this weekend’s final round of the 2013 World Superbike championship at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain.

It’s some 23 years since Jerez hosted a round of the production-based SBK series but many of the teams tested at the 4.423km Andalusian track at the end of 2012, including the current Pata Honda line-up of Michel Fabrizio and Leon Haslam.

Fabrizio has been substituting for the injured Jonathan Rea since round 11 at Istanbul in Turkey and Jerez represents the 29-year-old Italian’s final outing with the team. He is understandably looking forward to leaving on a high and the team will be doing all it can to realise Fabrizio’s wish.

Haslam meanwhile has his own reasons to seek an uplifting end to a difficult season that has been blighted by a double leg fracture sustained at Assen in The Netherlands in April. The 30-year-old British rider will be aiming to maintain his record of at least one podium finish in each of his full seasons as a World Superbike rider.

The Pata Honda team will remain in Spain following Sunday’s two 21-lap races at Jerez for a one-day test on Tuesday 22 October. It is anticipated that Jonathan Rea will use the test to re-introduce himself to his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade after fracturing his left femur in a crash at Nurburgring in Germany on 1 September.

Leon Haslam

We tested at Jerez at the end of last season and did some back-to-back comparisons between last year’s electronics and the new package, which was at a very early stage of development. It’ll be difficult to use any of the data we got back then but it’s a great track and I’ve always loved riding here since I was in GPs. We solved a pretty significant issue on the bike at the end of the last round in Magny-Cours, so I’m really looking forward to getting out on the Jerez circuit on Friday and giving it a go. It’s the last round of the series and I would just like it to be the one where everything finally comes together and we can get a chance to show what we’re capable of. There are lots of things to improve before the beginning of next season – both with me and the bike – but I’d like to finish this one by challenging the top guys this weekend.

Michel Fabrizio

Jerez will be my last race with the Pata Honda team, so I want to continue the positive direction that we found at Magny-Cours and to finish with some good results. I found a good confidence in the bike and in my riding in France so I want to take this to Spain and finish this year in a good way. I have never raced at Jerez but I tested there last year on a different machine and I was very fast, so I know that the circuit suits my riding style. I wish Jonathan a good recovery and I would like to thank Honda and the Pata Honda team for this opportunity. I hope to put on a good show for everyone this weekend.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

So, we reach the last race of the season and our final outing with Michel. We would all like to thank him for his contribution since Istanbul and we will all be trying very hard to help him continue to challenge for top five finishes. We will also try to give Leon back some confidence in the bike and help him to finish this season on a high to generate some positive momentum for the 2014 season. We are also very happy to welcome Jonathan back to the team after his injury and to congratulate him on the birth of his son. He’ll be with us all weekend and I can speak for the whole team in saying that we are all looking forward to seeing him back on the bike during our test next week.

2013 World Superbike championship, round 14

Circuito de Jerez, Spain – weekend schedule (local times – GMT+2)

Friday 18 October

11.45-12.30 Free practice
15.30-16.15 Qualifying 1

Saturday 19 October

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 20 October

09.20-09.35 Warm-up
12.00 Race 1 (21 laps 92.883km)
15.30 Race 2 (21 laps 92.883km)

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