WSBK

European season beckons as the Honda WorldSBK Team heads to Aragon

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The Honda WorldSBK Team is on its way to the Motorland AragÌ_n circuit in Spain, the venue hosting the third round of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship this weekend.

After an encouraging start to the new campaign in Australia and Thailand, Michael van der Mark and Nicky Hayden are now ready to tackle the maiden European event of the season, the first of six rounds scheduled to take place in the next two and a half months.

Currently third in the Championship standings and only one point away from second place, Michael van der Mark has so far shown impressive form onboard his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP. In just two rounds, the 23-year-old Dutchman was able to equal his three-podium tally from last year, while scoring his so-far best result in the series ‰ÛÒ a second place in race two at Phillip Island ‰ÛÒ and claiming his maiden WorldSBK pole position at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand.
Nicky Hayden
"I‰Ûªm really looking forward to getting back on track after the really good results we scored in Australia and Thailand," van der Mark enthused.

"What we‰Ûªve been able to achieve so far shows that we have what it takes to fight for the podium on very different tracks. I have a good feeling about the Aragon round; I like the track and the bike setup is working really well, so my goal is to have the best of weekends in Spain and be on the podium again. This would put me in a good position for my home event at Assen."

Nicky Hayden is looking forward to racing in front of the Spanish crowd at Aragon, a track he has perfect knowledge of from his GP days and where he scored a podium finish back in 2010.

The 34-year-old American made his first appearance with the team on this track last November, for a two-day private test that was heavily affected by adverse weather conditions. The ‰ÛÏKentucky Kid‰Û
Michael van der Mark
"This two-week break has definitely felt longer than it was and now I‰Ûªm ready to get back on track and reunite with the team," Hayden said.

"It‰Ûªs the first European round of my WorldSBK career and clearly it will be a bit different in terms of schedule and atmosphere in the paddock, given the bigger presence of teams and riders from other classes. Aragon is not an easy track, there are definitely some technical sections with downhill braking and blind corner entries, but it‰Ûªs a great circuit to ride on so I can‰Ûªt wait to get started.

Located 100km southeast of Zaragoza and near the town of Alca̱iz, the circuit hosted the first WorldSBK round in 2011, two years after its inauguration. In 2015, the series opted for the use of the MotoGP layout configuration of 5.077km, with 10 corners to the left, seven right-handers and no tight hairpin at the end of the back straight.

Main Photo: Michael van der Mark
Nicky Hayden

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