Jonathan Rea and Hiroshi Aoyama have concluded their three-day test session at Phillip Island. For both riders it was coming to grips with the 2012 CBR1000RR Fireblade and testing an array of new chassis and suspension components and continuing development on the ride-by-wire system that the team introduced last season during the Imola round.
Rea who after getting hit by a bird on Tuesday, yesterday ended up running over snake (check out the pic here) talked about the test.
“We’ve had a good three days, completed a lot of laps and tested a whole heap of new parts. We’ve also done quite a few long runs and race simulations which, to be honest, was really good – for the simulation we did today, we even used the lights! The full race-run allows us to see exactly where we are, even though the disadvantage of testing on your own is that you’ve got no-one to measure yourself against. But the whole team is working really well and I’m really enjoying riding the bike again. Step-by-step we’re making things better and, although when you test this many parts you can end up going round in circles, I think we’ve got a bike with a good base setting to go into the 2012 season with.”
Rea’s new team mate Hiroshi Aoyama said, “I’ve really enjoyed the first test of the season on the new 2012 bike. I had some good feelings from the test in Qatar in December, but the feeling here at Phillip Island was quite different. We had to do a lot of work on the first two days but I learned a lot and on each day the feeling got better. We did a race simulation today and it was very interesting to experience the deterioration of the tyre. We need to make some more steps and, if we can do that, it’ll be an exciting race next month! For sure, I need to ride a lot more to try to learn the bike and the tyres because everything is still very new. I’m sure I will need a couple of races to get familiar with everything.”
Team manager Ronald ten Kate seems enthusiastic about how the test went, “The overall package as part of the 2012 Fireblade is definitely a step forward and the new fairing has improved stability. It was properly tested too, because there was a strong wind coming up the straight on the first day! With both riders, the bike has been able to give them a single fast lap time, but the race simulations we did today were also encouraging.”
The Honda Superbike team will be returning to Phillip Island for the official two-day test that starts 20th February, a week before the season opener at the same venue on February 26th.