Honda fired up for 2012 WSBK

2012-02-22 10:38

MELBOURNE, Australia - Honda World Superbike Team riders Jonathan Rea and Hiroshi Aoyama have declared themselves ready for  the opening round of the 2012 World Superbike championship  from February 24-26 at Australia’s Phillip Island.

Rea and Aoyama completed a two-day official test at the 4.448km Phillip Island circuit on Tuesday on their 2012 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblades, marking the start of a year of 20th anniversary celebrations for Honda’s iconic sportsbike.

The test was arranged by the championship organiser and conducted in fine, warm conditions, with track temperatures increasing in the afternoon sessions.


The Honda riders also took the opportunity to further test a number of components for their machines, including electronics, chassis and suspension settings and a new swingarm.

Jonathan Rea, who set a best time of 1min31.913, said: “It’s been really good to get out on track with our rivals at this test because during our winter testing – in Qatar in December, 2011, and here (Melbourne) last month – we’ve been on our own.

“We are where we kind of expected to be and we know that to win here is going to be a very big task. Carlos [Checa] is riding very well and consistently but we’re still changing things on the bike because I’m still not 100% satisfied with the set-up.”

After the test sessions were concluded, Hiroshi Aoyama, who set a best time of 1min32.910, said: “These two days I have learned a lot more and one thing in particular: that this is a very tough championship!


“We have been working more on the bike and it’s been good to get more laps and try some set up changes. We’ve found some positive things, especially on corner exit, but other things have not been so good.

“At the moment, there is a gap to the top riders, so I hope to catch up a little bit during this first race weekend because I believe there is still some space to improve.”

The World Superbike paddock will reassemble for the first of 14 rounds for 2012 on Friday, February 24, 2012 where the first free practice session is scheduled to begin at 11.45am local time.

Superpole qualifying will follow on Saturday, with the two 22-lap first-round races on Sunday.


02:45 - 04:00MotorcyclingFIM Superbike World Championship Australia Race 1
04:00 - 05:30MotorcyclingFIM Superbike World Championship Australia SuperSport
05:30 - 06:15Motorcycling
FIM Superbike World Championship Australia Race 1
06:15 - 07:45MotorcyclingFIM Superbike World Championship Australia Race 2

Official times – two-day aggregate
1 Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki 1min31.648
2 Carlo Checa (ESP) Ducati 1min31.652
3 Jakub Smrz (CZE) Ducati 1min31.800
4 Jonathan Rea (GBR) Honda 1min31.913
5 Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia 1min32.034
6 Marco Melandri (ITA) BMW 1min32.232
7 Davide Giuliano (ITA) Ducati 1min32.319
8 Leon Camier (GBR) Suzuki 1min32.320
9 Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Ducati 1min32.347
10 Leon Haslam (GBR) Ducati 1min32.397
11 Joan Lascorz (ESP) Kawasaki 1min32.540
12 Michel Fabrizio (ITA) BMW) 1min32.605
13 Niccolo Canepa (ITA) Ducati 1min32.746
14 Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Honda 1min32.910
15 Maxime Berger (FRA) Ducati 1min32.911

2012 World Superbike championship Round 1 Phillip Island, Australia weekend schedule (local times, nine hours ahead of SA)
Friday, February 24
11.45-12.30 Free practice
15.30-16.15 Qualifying 1

Saturday February 25
09.45-10.30 Qualifying 2
12.30-13.15 Free practice
15.00-15.14 Superpole 1
15.21-15.33 Superpole 2
15.40-15.50 Superpole 3

Sunday February 26
09.20-09.35 Warm-up
12.00 Race 1 (22 laps 97.970km)
15.30 Race 2 (22 laps 97.970km)