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Apr 25, 2013

Pata Honda Previews This Coming Weekend's World Superbike Event At Assen

eni FIM Superbike World Championship: Pata Honda's Leon Haslam (91).
Pata Honda targeting Dutch delight

The Pata Honda team is heading to The Netherlands for this weekend’s (26-28 April) third round World Superbike championship races at the TT Circuit Assen.

The circuit has hosted world championship motorcycle racing every year since 1949 and it’s only a short journey to the circuit for the Dutch team, which is based at the Ten Kate workshops in Nieuwleusen, just 60km to the south.

Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam enjoyed the traditional Ten Kate Pitstop Day last Saturday, 20 April when approximately 7,000 race fans descended on the Ten Kate Motoren Honda dealership to meet the riders and see the race-team workshops.

Both Pata Honda riders like the flowing Assen track and have enjoyed podium success there in recent years, with Jonathan Rea having taken at least one race win for the team in each of his last three visits to the historic 4.542km circuit.

Leon Haslam has enjoyed three World Superbike podiums of his own at Assen in recent years, including a double, with second and third-place finishes, in his last races on a Honda in 2009.

Jonathan Rea

Pitstop Day seemed busier than usual and the weather was good, so it was a great day and I stayed in the motorhome next to the workshop before heading up to Assen. I’m looking forward to getting back on track there after our busy testing build-up to the last round in Spain. The boys have done a lot of work since Aragon and looked at a lot of data, so we’ve hopefully got a few new settings to try this weekend, especially around the throttle connection. We’ll start with free practice on Friday to try and turn it into a competitive package for two 22-lap races on Sunday. I hope the weather is a bit more consistent than it was last season but it would certainly be nice to get another good result at Assen.

Leon Haslam

It was my first Pitstop Day which it was a lot of fun, and I had a ride as a passenger on the Wall of Death. It was awesome, but it made me feel a bit sick! I’m really looking forward to getting on the bike again at Assen as we know that it goes well there from Johnny’s results here. I like Assen, too, and finished twice on the podium the last time I was here on the Honda CBR. We made a lot of progress with the bike during our testing in Spain but it was unfortunate that we had some issues which affected our race weekend at Aragon. Assen has corner characteristics that suit our chassis and there’s no long straight, so we’re hoping for better results this time out.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

We’re all looking forward to going to Assen and not just because it’s our home race with the team workshop just down the road. It’s well known that the circuit suits both the riders and our bike so, with the improvements that we’ve made to the base electronics setting in recent weeks, we’ll hope for a good weekend in front of all our friends, family and sponsors.

More, from a press release issued by Pata Honda Supersport Team:

Van der Mark hoping for home success

Pata Honda rider, Michael van der Mark, is looking forward to a home race this weekend as the World Supersport championship assembles at the TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands for round three of the 2013 series.

The 20-year-old Dutch ace has made an impressive start to his World Supersport career, taking a third in his first outing in Australia and second place in the last round at Aragon in Spain. He currently sits in second place in the overall championship standings.

His Pata Honda team-mate, Lorenzo Zanetti, is also making his World Supersport debut this season and the 26-year-old Italian is adapting well to the Honda CBR600RR having spent last season riding in the World Superbike championship.

Zanetti was sixth in Aragon and is confident of continued improvement at the flowing 4.542km Assen circuit in the north of The Netherlands.

Michael van der Mark

I’m really excited to be racing at Assen this weekend. The races there are always something special, but for me to be riding at my home race for a Dutch team is something that you can only dream about. But we will still approach this weekend like any other and start to get the bike set up for the circuit on Friday. Of course, there will be a lot of people, but I still have a lot to learn so I will be concentrating hard this weekend.

Lorenzo Zanetti

I cannot wait to race at Assen after the Aragon weekend, which was a very positive one. We worked well there; all the team did. Assen is a home circuit for the team and this gives us another reason to try to make a good result. Assen is not really my favourite track, especially the new part because it is too slow for my style, but I think it is not a problem. The team gives me a bike in perfect condition and I want to fight for the top five this time. I think this is realistic.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

It’s great for Michael to be coming to Assen in second place in the championship, but we must not get too excited. We know that our main rivals will go very fast here so we will be as methodical as we always try to be. We hope also to continue the progress that Lorenzo showed in Spain and have him fighting for even higher places on Sunday.