Saturday, June 7, 2014

Team Pata Honda's Rea 10th, Haslam 11th in Qualifying for eni Superbike World Championship in Sepang

Rea and Haslam toil under Sepang sun
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Sepang - Malaysia    05.06.2014
Rea and Haslam toil under Sepang sun
Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam endured a tough Superpole today in preparation for tomorrow’s two sixth-round World Superbike races at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
In temperatures nudging 40˚C and with the track temperature above 60˚C, the Pata Honda duo were able to put their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machines no higher than the fourth row of the grid for Sunday's two 16-lap races at the 5.548km Sepang circuit 60km south of Kuala Lumpur.
French rider Sylvain Guintoli took pole position but the Pata Honda technical team will continue this evening its analysis of all the data produced by Rea and Haslam on the CBR’s Sepang debut in order produce two solid race performances tomorrow.
Jonathan Rea
Jonathan Rea - P10, 2m04.514s
It’s been a difficult day and a difficult weekend so far because we’re trying to extract the best performance from the package here but we’re struggling. It’s mainly to do with engine brake and power delivery, which seems to be highlighted by the fact that it’s quite a low-grip surface here at Sepang and we’re on the side of the tyre for quite long periods in the long fast corners. I’m not used to starting this far back, to be honest, and although I made a small mistake on my qualifying tyre, I didn’t think it would be that critical. Everybody’s riding at a good level and we’re paying for that, so I just need to maximise the job tomorrow and come away with as many points as possible. But it’s sure not going to be easy!
Leon Haslam
Leon Haslam - P11, 2m05.202s
I’m not too unhappy actually, although I wasn’t happy with the big crash in FP4. We lost an important session which was the only one that was going to simulate temperatures that we can expect in the first race tomorrow and the only one when you do distance on old tyres. Again, like in Imola, I missed the whole session, which is more frustrating than anything. On the positive side, I did my fastest lap of the weekend on a race tyre in Superpole with a re-built bike, so I was quite happy with that. I went slower on the Q as usual because it throws up a lot of other issues. We’ve got some things to try in warm-up tomorrow but, for all the issues we’ve had this weekend, we’ve made some good progress today and we’re getting closer to where we should be.
Pieter Breddels
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
It wasn’t what we expected or wanted here but we learned yesterday that it wasn’t going to be easy. The grip levels and track layout were not helping us but 10th place for Jonathan is certainly not what we wanted. He could have been a little nearer to the front but made a small mistake in the last corner on the qualifying tyre, which also had something to do with how engine brake works with the qualifier. We’ve got some thinking to do and it looks like it’ll be a long day but hopefully we can find something for warm-up and fight for something in tomorrow’s races. Leon’s different approach to chassis and electronics set-up has shown some positives, despite his position on the grid. He was actually quite fast on the race tyre and I’m not so unhappy with the progress that we’r e seeing. I think he can have a couple of good races so let’s see what happens tomorrow.
Sunny Intervals
  Qualifying Results - Superpole 2
1  Sylvain Guintoli2m03.002sFRAAPRILIAAprilia Racing Team
2  Tom Sykes2m03.108sGBRKAWASAKIKawasaki Racing Team
3  Davide Guigliano2m03.137sITADUCATIDucati Superbike Team
4  Toni Elias2m03.160sESPAPRILIARed Devils Roma
5  Marco Melandri2m03.971sITAAPRILIAAprilia Racing Team
6  Loris Baz2m04.027sFRAKAWASAKIKawasaki Racing Team
7  Eugene Laverty2m04.263sIRLSUZUKIVoltcom Crescent Suzuki
8  Chaz Davies2m04.343sGBRDUCATIDucati Superbike Team
9  Alex Lowes2m04.433sGBRSUZUKIVoltcom Crescent Suzuki
10  Jonathan Rea2m04.514sGBRHONDAPata Honda
11  Leon Haslam2m05.202sGBRHONDAPata Honda
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