Nov 16, 2012
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Jonathan Rea (65).
Honda completes SBK test at Aragon
Honda yesterday completed a two-day test at Motorland Aragon in Spain as it continues its preparation for the 2013 World Superbike championship season.
Along with several of their championship rivals, riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam were frustrated by bad weather at the Spanish circuit, losing most of the first day. Yesterday was dry, however, and once the 4km track had dried, the British pair were able to test new parts on their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblades.
Both riders declared themselves satisfied with progress despite Haslam crashing at Aragon's first corner on only his second lap with a softer rear Pirelli. He and Rea will rendezvous with the team at Jerez later this month for the last test before the winter break.
It was a little frustrating because we lost the first day and had to wait until late morning before we could get out on day two. We tried some new brake parts at the test and found an improvement in both consistency and performance, so that was positive. The new swingarm worked OK with the new 17-inch wheels but we still need to do a bit of fine-tuning with some other new chassis parts that are coming. We have some other things to test at Jerez, plus the new electronics, which I'm looking forward to.
I did a few wet laps on Wednesday but it was only to get more accustomed to bike. When the track finally dried we got to try a load of different stuff and did everything on the harder tyre, which felt good. When I went out on the softer tyre, I lost the rear going into turn one and the bike ended up in the barrier and too badly damaged to repair. The boys got the spare bike ready but it was quite different and there really wasn't much time left anyway, so it was quite frustrating in the end. The one lap that I did on the softer tyre told me that the swingarm felt much better, so I'm looking forward to trying that with some other new parts at Jerez.
Pieter Breddels team co-ordinator
We had to wait for the weather to improve, which is how we have spent most of 2012, so we were quite used to that. The new swingarm was certainly better but we are expecting to see more improvement in the overall balance of the bike once we can use it with other chassis parts that we are developing. We also tried some new brake discs and pads at this test and got a better performance, so we finished on a positive note. We have some new electronics to test at Jerez at the end of the month so our plans for 2013 are coming together.