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.