The WSBK teams issued the following press releases after the test at Jerez:
Rea and Haslam complete Jerez test
Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam have completed a two-day test at Jerez in Spain, their first track outing in the new Pata Honda World Superbike livery and the final European winter test for the team.
The team used its second test at Jerez – new to the World Superbike championship calendar for the 2013 season – to concentrate on the new electronics package that is being developed from Honda’s MotoGP project.
Rea and Haslam also tested a heavily-revised swingarm for their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade machines, together with an all-new exhaust system from Termignoni.
The Pata Honda World Superbike team will now make the long return journey to its base in The Netherlands to make final preparations to the race bikes before they are crated up next week for transportation to Australia.
The team will take part in two further tests at the Phillip Island circuit there, ahead of the first round of the 2013 World Superbike season on 24 February.
We’re not really where we want to be right now because we couldn’t get as much out of these two days as we would have liked. Some things just can’t be fixed on site and the electronics problem we had was one of those. The system was taking too much power away so we really needed more track time to sort that out. However, I felt some good things, like it’s catching slides a lot more safely now, so that’s encouraging. It’s been a frustrating test and shown us that we need more track time before the first round, but that’s coming in Australia, so we’ll hope for better luck there.
It’s been a long, tough couple of days and frustrating in a lot of ways. We had some electronics issues and what we thought were engine braking problems. They turned out to be a problem with the brakes themselves. In the end, we changed the pads and threw in a random electronics package and I got maybe four or five laps towards the end of the day. It’s been one problem after another but those last laps showed that the bike is going to be good. It was a much needed test but ended up as a frustrating one, so I can’t wait to get back on it in Australia.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
We had some big problems on the first day with some glitches in the new electronics, so we had to wait to get a new software patch written and downloaded. The track conditions were not great either, so in reality we could only work in the last two hours or so of the test. In that little time, I think the guys did a great job and Jonathan was able to do a lap of 1m41.6s. Leon had some brake issues today, which set him back a little, and he was using Jonathan’s electronics settings which didn’t really work for him. The bike is working well though and the new components are performing as we want. We have some more parts to test, so we could do with more than the four testing days we have remaining before the start of the season, but we’re in quite good shape for now.
FIXI CRESCENT SUZUKI FINISHES EUROPEAN PRE-SEASON TESTS ON A HIGH-NOTE
FIXI Crescent Suzuki has made a very positive start to the new 2013 eni FIM Superbike World Championship season following two successful Spanish tests.
The final day of the test at Jerez today gave both Leon Camier and Jules Cluzel a full day of fine weather to assess their respective Suzuki GSX-Rs and complete their pre-season testing schedule. Camier looked extremely impressive as he recorded the fourth-fastest time of the day, with his quickest lap coming on the final one of his 77 circulations. Camier’s best time of 1’41.184 was less than half-of-a-second off the top-time set by Marco Melandri on a BMW. The Englishman was able to evaluate the new-spec engine, as well a try out the 17’’ wheels that WSBK will be using this season and test new electronic software and mapping during the final day.
Cluzel continued to make an impact on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R and finished the day in an impressive ninth place. He completed 52 laps of the Jerez circuit and clocked a best time of 1’42.635. He was hindered slightly by a small crash and some technical issues that cost him valuable track time, but was pleased with his efforts and is looking forward to the next test.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will now examine all the data garnered from the two Spanish tests and use it to make improvements for the next outing at Phillip Island, when the team will have four days of testing in readiness for the first race of the 2013 season, which is scheduled for Sunday 24th February at the Australian circuit.
“I am quite happy with the way everything has gone at the test. We had both wet and dry days, so we were able to try lots of different things. I do feel that my riding could have improved, it felt like my timing was a little bit off, but maybe that’s just because Jerez is a completely new track for me. I know that it's achievable to be up there with front guys and given that we have only had half-of-a-day dry track time here at Jerez and some of the riders in-front of me were here for three days late last year, I am very positive about the performance. It will be good to get to Australia and push the bike a bit harder, as it’s a much quicker track and we’ll be able to see what it can do there. I’m looking forward to the season.”
“It has been a good test in both the wet and dry conditions. At the end of today I was able to push a bit more and understand more how the FIXI Crescent Suzuki behaves. I really enjoyed myself and I know that I can go faster. I did a 10-lap run today, which is my longest so far on the Superbike, this helped me be more consistent and find my reference points. My biggest problem today was the wheelies, it’s hard to control the bike with so much power! I have learned a lot of things, but know there is more to come and I look forward to Phillip Island and improving further.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“It has been a bit frustrating overall with the weather, as the track didn’t really dry out properly until this afternoon. All things considered though we have had a good test and are only just behind our competitors despite them having more track time from the test last year - so to be so close in such a short time has got to be a good signal for the season ahead. Leon rode really well and as far as I can see he didn’t make any mistakes at all. He did seem to ride well within his abilities and was very smooth all through the test. The FIXI Crescent Suzuki GSX-R is certainly going in the right direction, but it is difficult to really analyse its performance here as the riders have to control wheelies and keep the bike calm, rather than being able to use full power, which is something we will be able to do at the next test.
“Jules looked really good in the rain yesterday, but he was frustrated by a small crash today that cost him time as the bike was repaired and then he had a technical issue that kept him in the garage for a while. His attitude has been first class throughout, he is positive and upbeat and his lap-times are pretty good considering he’s had so little experience on a Superbike. Once he’s got a few more laps under his belt, I’m sure he’ll find the rhythm easier and he’ll and be up there with the fastest guys. Jules is definitely not scared of opening the throttle and we are excited to have him on the team!”