The Honda World Superbike team issued the following press release after a wet test at Aragon, where Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam tested new parts for the 2013 WSBK season. The uprated electronics package, put together with the help of HRC and hoped to have a major impact on performance, is due to arrive for the next test of the team at Jerez. The press release appears below:
Jonathan Rea On The Difference Between MotoGP And WSBK Electronics: "It Is Such A Huge Part Of MotoGP"
The chance to substitute in the Repsol Honda team for the injured Casey Stoner was a great opportunity for Jonathan Rea to get a feel for a MotoGP bike and demonstrate his talent and potential, objectives in which he succeeded admirably. But it was also a chance for MotoGP journalists to grill the Ulsterman on the differences between various aspects of MotoGP and World Superbikes, Rea having shown he was both fast enough to feel the difference, smart enough to understand the difference and articulate enough to explain it to reporters.
At Aragon, the subject turned to electronics, and the difference between the systems used in the two series. The topic was broached as Rea was explaining what had happened to him during the race. He had got caught up cycling through the various electronics strategies the Honda RC213V is equipped with, looking for one that would help him as the tire wore throughout the race. A lack of dry track time getting to understand how the electronics affected the bike as the tires begin to wear left him confused and struggling to find a setting that would work, Rea told reporters.
With the MotoGP paddock assembled at the Motorland Aragon circuit, the press got their first chance to gauge rider reaction to the proposal of a spec ECU which Dorna is looking to introduce into MotoGP, most probably from 2014. The reaction was guardedly positive among the MotoGP regulars, though all five riders questioned in the pre-event press conference raised concerns over safety. Only Jonathan Rea, standing in for Casey Stoner in the Repsol Honda team for probably the last time, dissented, believing that MotoGP should be a pure prototype series.
"If everyone has the same electronics, this will be positive for everyone, more positive for the ones who do not have the best electronics," Jorge Lorenzo told the press conference. He was the first to voice safety concerns. "I think we have to try it and to see if we still have the same security on the bike. Because now we avoid a lot of crashes, especially highsides, and maybe with the standard electronics the bike is a bit more dangerous. Because now, the bikes are more powerful, we have more than 250 horsepower, so we have to be careful of these things."
Honda finally ends speculation on Jonathan Rea's future, announcing that he will be the lynchpin of the Ten Kate team in 2013 with Leon Haslam as his team mate, riding the aged Honda Fireblade in Pata colours for its last year of racing. Rumours of a full-time MotoGP ride next year are well and truly crushed with this announcement, but with talk of a V4 Honda replacing the Fireblade for 2014, Rea's input into making it competetive will earn him even more goodwill at HRC.
The full text of the press releases from both Honda and BMW follow:
The main protagonist in Friday's action was the weather. Like a hormonal teenage girl, the rain simply could not make up its mind whether it was going to fall properly or not, light drizzle blowing in for ten minutes before blowing out again five minutes later. (Hormonal teenage boys, it should be noted, know exactly what they want, and apart from the obvious, what they want is the opposite of whatever they have just been told). The weather left the track in that awful half-and-half condition, too cold and damp for slicks, too dry for wets, and the track conditions left the MotoGP men mostly sitting in the pits.
Dani Pedrosa explained it best. "Too wet, so you cannot push, so the tire cools down immediately after you go out, and in or two laps you have to stop, because there is no temperature in the tire. And with the wets, it's completely the opposite, the tire is immediately out of the working range, and one or two laps and it is gone." Even in the short period you could go out, there was nothing to be learned, Pedrosa said. "If the tire has too much temperature or too little temperature, the bike feels completely different. There's no meaning in going out."
Press release previews from the MotoGP teams ahead of this weekend's race at Misano:
Press releases from the Repsol Honda, Yamaha Factory Racing and LCR Honda teams after the two-day test at the Motorland Aragon circuit:
HRC issued the following press release after the first day of testing at Aragon today:
Dani Pedrosa has something of a reputation. Blisteringly fast when out on his own, but put him under pressure and he crumbles. Once passed, he is history, and he will trouble you no more.
There has never been that much truth to that accusation, and the MotoGP race at Brno should drive the final nail into its coffin, for what the diminutive Spaniard displayed on Sunday was the heart and courage of a lion. The race did not have much passing - just three passes for the lead in the entire race - but it was a genuine thriller nonetheless.
Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa broke away early, despite the best efforts of Cal Crutchlow to hang on - and impressively, he hung on for a remarkably long time - and the stalking began. Pedrosa hung on Lorenzo's tail for 12 laps, then Lorenzo gave way, needing a breather. The roles where reversed, this time Lorenzo snapping at Pedrosa's tail, waiting for an opportunity to appear.
Jonathan Rea has been drafted in to replace Casey Stoner during the Australian's absence due to the ankle injury he suffered at Indianapolis. The Ulsterman is to test the factory Honda RC213V at Brno during the official MotoGP test on Monday, and then again at Aragon in just over a week's time.
The decision to draft in Rea was made as a reward for his loyalty to Honda throughout the years. Rea has stuck with Honda in WSBK, and achieving strong results on a CBR1000RR that is starting to get a little long in the tooth. Rea winning the Suzuka 8 hours endurance race earlier this year was also greatly appreciated by HRC top management.
How many races Rea will get on the bike is still uncertain. Casey Stoner has now arrived in Australia, and is expected to have surgery on Wednesday. He is almost certain to be forced to miss Misano, and the following race at Aragon is also uncertain. None of the remaining rounds on the MotoGP calendar clash with World Superbikes, so though Rea would find himself with a full schedule, it would be possible for Rea to substitute for Stoner for the rest of the year, if necessary.
Below is the official press release from Honda, and a video statement from Rea courtesy of the Honda World Superbike team:
Jonathan Rea to test for Repsol Honda Team
The Honda World Superbike team has long led the way in taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by the internet in promoting their team and their sponsors, and they have just launched another innovative and interesting series of videos aimed at giving the fans a better understanding of what riding a WSBK machine entails. The Classic Corners series takes a look at five of the most spectacular corners that WSBK visits, with riders Jonathan Rea and Hiroshi Aoyama explaining what is required to get through the corner fast, and their crew talking about the demands they place on the bikes and the electronics.
The first video in the series takes a look at Turn 12 at Phillip Island, the last corner before the long straight. Below is the video from the Honda World Superbike team, and their press office's introduction to the video:
SBK Classic Corners - Episode 1
It's with great pleasure that the Honda World Superbike Team presents episode one of its exclusive, five-part SBK Classic Corners series.
This short film looks in detail at the demanding and challenging Turn 12 at Phillip Island in Australia - the long, long, LONG left-hander just before the downhill start-finish straight, which is so critical for a quick lap of the picturesque 4.448km circuit.
A press release issued by the Ten Kate Honda squad after their recent test at Assen ahead of the upcoming World Superbike round there: