Jonathan Rea with crew chief Chris Pike

Jonathan Rea with crew chief Chris Pike

Jonathan Rea and Hiroshi Aoyama are setting their sights on Silverstone in the United Kingdom as they return to round 10 of the 2012 World Superbike championship this weekend (3-5 August).

Both Honda World Superbike Team riders were in action for rival Honda teams at the prestigious Suzuka 8-hours race in Japan last Sunday, but experienced contrasting emotions.

While Rea emerged victorious with his FCC TSR Honda team, becoming the first British rider to win the Suzuka 8-hours, Aoyama saw his MuSASHi Honda team-mate and former Honda SBK rider, Ryuichi Kiyonari, crash out of the race while battling for the lead with Rea’s team-mate Kosuke Akiyoshi.

Swapping endurance-specification CBR1000RR Fireblades for their more familiar World Superbike versions this weekend, both Rea and Aoyama will be seeking success at the 5.902km Silverstone circuit near Northampton to make up for a disappointing outing in the last SBK round at Brno in the Czech Republic.

Rea missed the Silverstone round last year through injury, but took two strong second place finishes in 2010. Meanwhile, Aoyama took a top-ten placing in MotoGP in 2011.

Jonathan Rea
The Suzuka race was unbelievable – there was so much happening but we managed to stay consistent and bring it home. I’m a little tired and my body is adjusting after we got back to the UK on Monday evening but I’m looking forward to the week ahead. We had a very disappointing weekend at Brno last time out but I’m quite optimistic about Silverstone. I really enjoy the layout of the circuit and, although I missed last year, the bike worked pretty well there for me in 2010. I hope we can develop our new electronics package a little more this weekend and get some better throttle control. It’ll be good to come back for a second home race this season – it’s always great to meet the British fans and ride in front of them.

Hiroshi Aoyama
I am quite tired after Suzuka and travelling back to Europe again, but I have a few days to get over the jetlag before this weekend. Of course, the result in Japan was disappointing but I was happy to be challenging with my team at the front of the race. Now I must focus on Silverstone and try to find again the improved feeling I had with the bike on Saturday at Brno. Unfortunately, we could not make any more steps the following day because of a crash and a technical problem in the races. I will work hard with my team at Silverstone on Friday and try to improve our qualifying position for better races on Sunday.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager
We’ve got some new parts to try for this weekend at Silverstone, but after a difficult weekend at Brno, we first need to go back a step, closer to the base setting that we know has worked at other circuits this season. Both riders are currently recovering from their efforts at Suzuka, but they will return with some confidence I’m sure – Jonathan with a good feeling from his victory, but also Hiro because he was dicing for the lead as well. We know how well the CBR can work at Silverstone and it’s always a thrill to race in front of the enthusiastic British crowd, so we’re all looking forward to the weekend.

2012 World Superbike championship, round 10

Silverstone, United Kingdom – weekend schedule (local times)

Friday 3 August
11.45-12.30 Free practice
15.30-16.15 Qualifying 1

Saturday 4 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 5 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'}