WSBK

Pata Honda’s 2015 WSBK Team Unveiled In Italy

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The Pata Honda line-up for the 2015 World Superbike championship was officially unveiled at Verona in Italy today when Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark were presented to a large and enthusiastic crowd of Italian fans and media.

The two riders ‰ÛÒ both world champions in 2014 - have already tested their 2015-specification Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP race machines this year at Portimao, Portugal and, earlier this week, at Aragon in Spain.

In spite of less-than-favourable weather conditions, both riders declared themselves happy with the development of the CBR, on which their Netherlands-based team has worked hard to meet revised technical regulations for the 2015 WSBK season.

Reigning World Superbike champion, Guintoli, 32, and his 22-year-old Pata Honda team-mate, van der Mark, who won last season‰Ûªs World Supersport crown, will return to Spain tomorrow for a two-day test at Jerez on Monday and Tuesday next week.

"Bringing the number one plate to a new manufacturer is a big deal, really, because it doesn‰Ûªt happen very often." Guintoli stated. "It‰Ûªs symbolic for me, too, because I‰Ûªll be going for the title again on a different bike, the Honda CBR.

"I‰Ûªll definitely be wearing the number one with pride this year. But I‰Ûªm motivated by the challenge and I‰Ûªve found a team that also wants it really badly. The bike has changed quite a bit over the winter and we have new regulations. The team has worked hard and we know it‰Ûªs going to be a big challenge, but that‰Ûªs what makes it interesting!

"The 2015 engine is quite close to last year‰Ûªs specification and, if anything, is a bit smoother, which is good news for us because, built as standard, it suits the new rules. We‰Ûªre still working on a few things like weight distribution and geometry but the bike is already quite different to last year.

"I‰Ûªm very pleased with the work that has been done over the winter. There is still more work to be done, but the team is a big asset; you can feel the power of Honda, and it feels good.

"I‰Ûªm in the same team as last year but, after winning the World Supersport title, I had to make another step and, for me, that was World Superbike." Van der Mark commented. "It‰Ûªs maybe a little easier for me because I have the same team, but I still have to get used to the bigger CBR and its more sophisticated electronics and find a good set-up.

"I think the biggest challenge for me and everyone is the new regulations. At the moment the bike feels really good but we‰Ûªll have to see where it is after the first few races. I have to learn a lot, of course, but I don‰Ûªt put any pressure on myself ‰ÛÒ I just want to do my best, make forward steps and see where we can get to.

"The weather hasn‰Ûªt been great at the two tests we‰Ûªve had this year but my feeling with the CBR is much better than my first outing at Jerez. Together with Sylvain, I think we have a great team. He brings a lot of experience as last year‰Ûªs world champion, but I think we can learn from each other and that‰Ûªs what we‰Ûªve been doing in the tests.

The forthcoming season marks the third in which Pata, one of Europe‰Ûªs largest and most successful manufacturers of potato chips and snacks, has supported Honda‰Ûªs official entry in the World Superbike championship.

Pata president, Remo Gobbi, a passionate follower of motorsport on two and four wheels, was alongside both Pata Honda World Superbike riders when the covers came of their CBR machines on Saturday afternoon.

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