Honda's Rea and Haslam Score Points on Frist Day of New Season

Honda's Rea and Haslam Score Points on Frist Day of New Season

26.02.2013: Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike




Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) each scored points inside the top ten in the two 22-lap FIM Superbike World Championship races at Phillip Island in Australia today, leaving the first round in sixth and seventh places respectively.


Having both experienced issues in perfecting the latest electronic set-ups on their CBR1000RR machines, potential full performance was unable to be maintained over full race distance. Haslam has been up as high as second in race one, his first for his new team, but dropped back to finish seventh, only 6.830 seconds from the winner Sylvian Guintoli (Aprilia). In race two Rea was the highest placed Honda finisher, eighth. Race two was won by another Aprilia rider, Eugene Laverty.


In the new format of Superpole qualifying for the FIM Superbike World Championship, now for the fastest 15 riders from combined qualifying, Haslam had finished up eighth and Rea ninth. A new grid layout of three riders per echelon came into being for the first time in Australia, placing both Honda riders on the third row.


With the postponement of the planned Indian round in two weeks time, the second round of the series takes place at the Spanish circuit of Motorland Aragon on Sunday April 14th.


The 2013 FIM Supersport World Championship started well for full season rookie rider Michael van Der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) after he qualified fourth and then raced to third and his first podium in this category of racing. Kawasaki rider Kenan Sofuoglu won the race itself, from Sam Lowes (Yamaha). Van der Mark was 6.771 seconds down at the flag, in what was a radically shortened 15-lap contest, not 21 as originally planned.


Concerns about tyre life on the aggressive new Phillip Island race surface caused this decision to be reach on Friday, giving teams time to readjust their settings for a much shorter race. The intensity of competition was unaffected, and although van der Mark broke the previous lap record early in the race, Sofuoglu ended up setting a new lap record on the very last lap of the 15.


Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) had a tough baptism in his first ever WSS ride, but he rode well and made up two places at the end to go eighth in the race and eighth on points leaving Australia.


Another new WSS rider, Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda) posted a great qualifying lap to go fifth in the grid and despite a loss of rear tyre performance near the end of the race he finished tenth, and was the third best Honda rider on show.


Luca Marconi (PTR Honda) secured a good handful of points for his 12th place finish, finishing second in a multiple rider battle and some 33 seconds from the win.


The last Honda points scorer was Alex Baldolini (Team Lorini Honda) 15th. He was the only finisher in his team as Raffaele De Rosa (Team Lorini Honda) crashed with another rider on lap three.


Wildcard rider Josh Hook (Team Honda Racing Australia) was a fighting 17th at his home track. Only 17 years old, Matt Davies (Team Honda PTR) had a respectable start to his WSS career, going 20th in a field of 33 starters.


Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda) was 22nd, and a tough weekend all round for Sheridan Morais (PTR Honda) saw him four laps down at the finish, the last finisher across the line in 24th. Technical issues had held him back in testing and qualifying and he had been 23rd off the new shape grid.


Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda) was unable to start the race after suffering an injury in practice.



Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: 8th / 8th Championship position: 6th


 “Our new electronics system was just a bit inconsistent so we still have a lot of work to do. It has been hard to set the electronics because from maximum lean angle to standing the bike up is quite a big difference. For the longer, faster, corners the system is working OK, but for the slower corners, like T4 or T6, it is holding me back a lot.

For sure there is a quite a bit of time to be gained in that and I have to take some of the blame because that has a knock-on effect on my confidence, because you do not want to push until completely understanding the bike. We made big changes in the engine braking side for the race.

We are learning all the time so this is probably not a true reflection of where we are. It is not all bad because I can see progress and I have it thank all the guys who have been working so hard to understand the system. We have to be realistic and understand we have only been working with this for a couple of months now.”



Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: 7th / 10th Championship position: 7th


“It’s been a bit of a disappointing day. We had some issues that we couldn’t overcome in race one and I ended up heading backwards. It felt like I had the pace to challenge for a rostrum but I was held back in a couple of areas.

In race two we made some positive changes but I had a bad start and then got caughtin the melée with two other riders crashing out down at the MG hairpin on lap one. I lost around 10 or 11 seconds that would have allowed me to battle for third or fourth again if I hadn’t lost that time.

There are a lot of ifs and buts, and we’ve got a lot of work to do in this next month to try to resolve a few issues.”



Michael van Der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team)
Race result: 3rd Championship position: 3rd


“I am just so happy because we had a lot of stress about the tyres but we did a fantastic race with a perfect set-up and the team worked so hard.

It is like a dream to be third in my first ever World Championship Supersport race so I want to thank the team, the complete team, because we could not have done it without them.

I did not realise I had set the new lap record at one time before somebody else took it, but I was not watching the lap times, I had a good pace which felt good and easy and I just watched the guys in front of me and the guys in fourth position, because they didn’t close on me.

That is why I decide to slow a little bit to save the tyre but at the end the tyre was still working well and I could not really have had a better start to my Supersport career.”



Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team)
Race result: 8th Championship position: 8th


“Not so bad for my first race in World Supersport. Tenth position is good because I learned the method of the team, which was completely new for me. I have come, learned the bike and fighting for the podium will be necessary.


This will be another step, especially in the last few laps when the tyre has gone down but now I have real race data and we have a test before the Aragon race. I was fighting for positions on the final lap and improved two places.


Now I have to work because I know I can ride a bike and now we have to work to fight for podiums Congratulations to Mikey on his third place finish.”



Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda)
Race result: 10th Championship position: 10th


    “We got a good start and got away well but I did not have a lot of grip at the end and that is something we can work on for the next round, but I do not think anywhere else we go can be as bad on tyres as here.

I have to be happy enough with tenth position and brining it home safe. All good, some positives to take away and we can maybe be a bit stronger.”



Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda)
Race result: 22nd Championship position: NA


    “We had a very hard weekend in the test and we changed the engine but from Friday we went one and a half seconds slower, we do not know why. We have to find a solution and when we do we will come back good in Aragon.”



Matt Davies (Team Honda PTR)
Race result: 20th Championship position: NA


    “I was happy to finish top twenty in the first time in a Supersport World Championship so I cannot complain, It could have been better of course so I will now take this and move on to the next round.

I have ridden in more circuits in Europe than I have done in Australia more often so I feel I am going somewhere where many of the guys had an advantage over me here, and I think I am y have the advantage of them over there.”


- Honda -  also photo

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/supersport-honda-rea-haslam-points-pata-team-supersport-australia---108034.html

26.02.2013 / MaP

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