WSBK

Sylvain Guintoli and Michael Van der Mark complete Jerez Test

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Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark have completed their first shakedown tests on the Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP during a private test at Jerez in Spain.

The four-day test was plagued by rain showers, including a completely wet day on Thursday, which limited track time for the two new Pata Honda World Superbike riders. However, both expressed satisfaction at their first rides on Honda‰Ûªs flagship production sports bike.

Carrying the number one plate for the first time, Guintoli, spent his first laps on the Fireblade getting accustomed to a different engine configuration compared to the machine on which he won this year‰Ûªs World Superbike championship title.

However, the 32-year-old French rider gave his new team, including crew chief Flavio Prodolliet, some valuable feedback and a positive response to the 1000cc in-line four cylinder machine, particularly its refined chassis and handling characteristics.

"It‰Ûªs been a really positive first encounter with my new team and the CBR." Guintoli stated. "It‰Ûªs clearly a different machine to what I‰Ûªve been riding for the last two years so this test was really all about dialling into the Honda and learning about its strengths.

"We‰Ûªve gone in a big, wide circle to learn how the bike reacts in a number of different situations. So, while the lap times are nothing to jump up and down about, we‰Ûªve done the base work here and we have a good direction to go in the next time we test.

"It‰Ûªs also been good to get to know the mechanics, the technicians and the rest of the team this week. We‰Ûªve had some good laughs and there‰Ûªs already a great atmosphere in the box.
The 2014 World Supersport champion, Van Der Mark, started the Jerez test with a minimum level of electronics in order to fully appreciate the full-power Fireblade,
For young Dutch flyer van der Mark it was an entirely new feeling to experience the raw power of a SBK-specification race bike, despite winning the last two editions of the famous Suzuka 8-hour World Endurance race on Honda‰Ûªs CBR1000RR Fireblade.

The 2014 World Supersport champion, 22, started the Jerez test with a minimum level of electronics in order to fully appreciate the full-power Fireblade, with traction control and other rider aids gradually increased during the four days of testing.

"Well, when I first got on the bike on Monday it was certainly different, but I‰Ûªve really enjoyed this first test!" Van der Mark exclaimed. "The weather hasn‰Ûªt been so great but I started on the first two days with no electronics, just to get a feel for the bike and a new level of power.

"On Wednesday I used a bit more of the electronics and we made some really big changes just to see what each part of the system can do, so that was really useful. I was quite happy with everything this week and also happy with my lap times on old tyres.

"I also used a qualifying tyre on Wednesday and was able to go around a second faster on that, which is the expectation I think. Now, it‰Ûªs back to training through December before getting back on the bike in the middle of January, which is going to be a really busy month," he concluded.

Top Image: Sylvain Guintoli during his first test with the Pata Honda team

Credit: Honda Racing

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