Rea at Brno

Rea at Brno

Jonathan Rea has declared himself satisfied after securing a second-row starting position for tomorrow’s two ninth-round World Superbike championship races at the Automotodromo Brno in the Czech Republic.

The 25-year-old went into this afternoon’s Superpole sessions needing to improve on his regular qualifying positions of 15th yesterday and 12th this morning. Adjustments made to his Honda CBR1000RR, however, allowed him to progress to Superpole 2 in which he had set the second-fastest time before the session was red-flagged.

After a lengthy delay to clean oil from the 5.403km Brno circuit, drops of rain began to fall and Superpole was then declared ‘wet’, with one 20-minute session given to the remaining riders. However, although the track never became wet, Rea had already used his two allotted qualifying tyres.

Pole position was taken by Britain’s Tom Sykes, with Rea setting the sixth fastest time on a race tyre. His Honda World Superbike team-mate, Hiroshi Aoyama, was unable to qualify for Superpole and will start tomorrow’s races from the fifth row of the grid.

Jonathan Rea – P6, 1m59.560s

I’m quite satisfied with sixth today, especially after yesterday. In the final Superpole session, we only had a race tyre left to go out on. I was a little bit worried because there were quite a few qualifiers still kicking around, but we managed to put a good lap together. While I’m happy with where I qualified, I’m still not completely happy with the bike. We still need to make a few adjustments overnight to try in warm-up tomorrow morning. But at least we’re on the front two rows and our race pace is OK. We still need to improve our out-and-out lap speed for the first five or ten laps of the race, but we’re working on that.

Hiroshi Aoyama – P18, 2m00.693s

We improved from yesterday to today, which is quite positive, and then we improved from this morning, using a new swingarm in the free practice. It gives a little bit more drive grip, which is good, but because we only just tried it, we still need to make some adjustments for tomorrow. Yesterday I was struggling with the front feeling and although it’s still the same today, the rear has become better and, with that, the lap time improved. We’ll try another setting in the warm-up when I hope to improve the front feeling so I can push harder in the races.

Pieter Breddels – team co-ordinator

Hiroshi unfortunately did not make Superpole, but we improved a little bit this afternoon and his ideal time would have put him in Superpole. Now we need to string a few good laps together for consistency and improvement. I hope he’ll have a positive race anyway, and learn something for the next time. After yesterday, Jonathan had to come from quite far back but he and the team did a really good job, working step-by-step and improving the setting. He’s sixth on the grid for tomorrow and I think like he found some pace for Superpole just by doing some more laps, he can find a bit more tomorrow and then anything can happen from there.

2012 World Superbike championship – round nine, Autmotodromo Brno, Czech Republic

Final qualifying results:

1 Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki 1m58.010s

2 Carlos Checa (ESP) Ducati 1m58.470s

3 Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aprilia 1m58.741s

4 Davide Guigliano (ITA) Ducati 1m58.789s

5 Marco Melandri (ITA) BMW 1m58.885s

6 Jonathan Rea (GBR) Honda World Superbike Team 1m59.560s

18 Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Honda World Superbike Team 2m00.693s

Aoyama struggles at Brno

Aoyama struggles at Brno

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