Pata Honda Completes Pre-Season Preparations


The Pata Honda World Superbike and World Supersport teams have finished pre-season testing in preparation for this weekend‰Ûªs first-round championship races at Phillip Island in Australia.

The World Superbike pairing of Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea today completed their final pre-season test after two days lapping their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machines around the 4.445km Phillip Island circuit in warm and dry conditions ‰ÛÒ certainly more favourable than their last two tests in Europe.

In spite of a crash which prevented his participation in most of this afternoon's final test session, Haslam finished the Phillip Island test with the eighth-fastest time.

"It's been a good two days here after a tough pre-season with bad weather and new components." Haslam stated. "Since we got here though, everything has been running smoothly and we've been making good progress and taking the correct steps.

"We did some race runs on the first day yesterday and the time I did this morning was on an old tyre. This afternoon I had a big high-side on my first flying lap and missed the whole session.

"I'm pretty happy that my left leg stayed in one piece, but my backside is pretty sore! The temperature got up this afternoon and no-one was able to go any faster, so I think we can go into the weekend on a positive note," he added.
Jonathan Rea is excited for the 2014 WSBK Season - Credit: Honda Racing
Rea was less than two hundredths of a second behind his team-mate as both continued the development of a revised electronics system and new components.

"It's clear that we're starting the season in much better shape than last year but it's so, SO competitive. It's actually quite exciting!" Rea exclaimed. "There are a few guys who've got a bit more ultimate pace than me, but Phillip Island is a race where you really have to work for the full 22 laps.

"Today, we focused more on that and, to be honest, we still have some work to do - quite a lot with the chassis to find a good balance for the circuit which demands a unique style of riding compared to European circuits.

"I also need to sort the final sector because until that point on the track I'm quite competitive.

"But with everything so close, I can't afford to give away three tenths in one sector. We'll take a good look at that and see what's what. The weekend should be quite exciting because nobody is head and shoulders above anyone else - i t's very tight at the top!
Michael van der Mark had the third fastest time in the Supersport class - Credit: Honda Racing
Pata Honda‰Ûªs Michael van der Mark and Lorenzo Zanetti have also been testing at Phillip Island, refining their Honda CBR600RRs in readiness for their second seasons in the World Supersport category.

Dutch ace van der Mark ended the test with the third-fastest time, less than half a second behind three-time World Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoglu, while his Italian team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti was tenth fastest.

The season proper begins for Pata Honda at Phillip Island this Friday, 21 February with the first World Supersport free practice session opening at 10.00 local time. The World Superbike riders will take to the track at 11.45 in a revised event format, which sees the first three practice sessions timed for Saturday's Superpole.

The 10 fastest riders will qualify automatically for Superpole 2, while those with the 11th to 20th fastest times will also contest Superpole 1 - the two fastest from that session moving into Superpole 2 to determine final grid positions.

The Pata Honda team has produced a short preview for this weekend's opening round of the 2014 World Superbike championship at Phillip Island, featuring interviews with Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam and team manager Ronald ten Kate.

Check out the video below.

Top Image: Leon Haslam in action at Phillip Island in the final official test session before the 2014 WSBK Championship gets underway.
Credit: Honda Racing

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