Saturday, April 12, 2014

Rea Qualifies 5th, Haslam 12th for Team Pata Honda at Motorland Aragon Round of eni Superbike World Championship

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Motorland Aragon - Spain    12.04.2014
Second row for Rea in Spain
Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s two second-round World Superbike championship races from the second row of the grid after setting the fifth fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole at Motorland Aragon in Spain.

The 27-year-old British rider topped all but one of the four free practice sessions of the weekend on his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP, but was unable to maximise the additional grip of his Pirelli qualifying tyre on its one available flying Superpole lap of the 5.344km Aragon circuit.

Pole position went to another British rider, Tom Sykes, with his team-mate Loris Baz and Sylvain Guintoli completing the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s two 17-lap races, which go off at 10.30 and 13.10 local time.

Rea’s Pata Honda team-mate, Leon Haslam, made positive strides forward with the set-up on his own CBR machine in today's two free practice sessions, but crashed early in Superpole, leaving him with a 12th place starting position on the grid.
Jonathan Rea
Jonathan Rea - P5, 1m56.972s
I’m honestly quite happy as this is the fastest I’ve ever been around Aragon and we’ve made such a big step since last year. It was quite a perfect lap from me but we just didn’t have the out-and-out speed with a qualifier in. While I’m satisfied with my lap time, I’m not with my position. Looking at the track condition this morning, I expected a 56s would be good for front row, but the pace is quite fast. We worked a lot on our option tyres this morning and checked them again this afternoon. We’re still not seeing the high temperatures that we’d need to run the really soft tyre so tomorrow’s going to be a big tyre decision. Whether the sun comes out and heats the track or not, I’m quite satisfied with the set-up we’ve got. We need to work a little more on engine braking tonight, but I just need to make a really good start from row two and try to go with the guys in front of me on the grid.
Leon Haslam
Leon Haslam - P12, 1m58.376s
The last three crashes I’ve had have spun the bike from under me on fast, third or fourth-gear corners, which is kind of frustrating. We started off on the back foot here but we’ve made progress every session and the bike felt pretty good this afternoon. I was on target for a 57s lap on a race tyre, which is in the ball park, but I’m lucky the bike didn’t high-side me like it could’ve done. But this is something we definitely need to look into and solve for the future. My race pace is quite good, although tyre life is an issue for the cooler conditions, so we’ll re-assess that in morning warm-up and decide which tyre to go with. As far as the chassis is concerned, and the progressions we made electronically before the crash, I’m quite happy.
Pieter Breddels
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
We can be quite pleased with Jonathan’s fifth place and his performances during the free practice sessions. His race pace looks quite strong and should give him the potential to fight for the podium, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings. Leon has been looking good all day after making some good steps forward, and he was fourth in the final session before Superpole. Unfortunately, he crashed and we’ll have to analyse the data in more detail to see exactly why. We’ll help him to re-discover his confidence in warm-up tomorrow and hope that he can have a good couple of races. 
  Qualifying Results - Results
1  Tom Sykes1m56.479sGBRKAWASAKIKawasaki Racing Team
2  Loris Baz1m56.675sFRAKAWASAKIKawasaki Racing Team
3  Sylvain Guintoli1m56.769sFRAAPRILIAAprilia Racing Team
4  Davide Guigliano1m56.825ITADUCATIDucati Superbike Team
5  Jonathan Rea1m56.972sGBRHONDAPata Honda
6  Chaz Davies1m56.977sGBRDUCATIDucati Superbike Team
7  Marco Melandri1m57.063sITAAPRILIAAprilia Racing Team
8  Eugene Laverty1m57.736sIRLSUZUKIVoltcom Crescent Suzuki
9  Alex Lowes1m57.975sGBRSUZUKIVoltcom Crescent Suzuki
10  Toni Elias1m58.180sESPAPRILIARed Devils Roma
11  Leon Camier1m59.326sGBRBMWBMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team
12  Leon Haslam1m58.376sGBRHONDAPata Honda
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