This just in:
Pata Honda targeting Dutch delight
The Pata Honda team is heading to The Netherlands for this weekend's (26-28 April) third round World Superbike championship races at the TT Circuit Assen.
The circuit has hosted world championship motorcycle racing every year since 1949 and it's only a short journey to the circuit for the Dutch team, which is based at the Ten Kate workshops in Nieuwleusen, just 60km to the south.
Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam enjoyed the traditional Ten Kate Pitstop Day last Saturday, 20 April when approximately 7,000 race fans descended on the Ten Kate Motoren Honda dealership to meet the riders and see the race-team workshops.
Both Pata Honda riders like the flowing Assen track and have enjoyed podium success there in recent years, with Jonathan Rea having taken at least one race win for the team in each of his last three visits to the historic 4.542km circuit.
Leon Haslam has enjoyed three World Superbike podiums of his own at Assen in recent years, including a double, with second and third-place finishes, in his last races on a Honda in 2009.
Pitstop Day seemed busier than usual and the weather was good, so it was a great day and I stayed in the motorhome next to the workshop before heading up to Assen. I'm looking forward to getting back on track there after our busy testing build-up to the last round in Spain. The boys have done a lot of work since Aragon and looked at a lot of data, so we've hopefully got a few new settings to try this weekend, especially around the throttle connection. We'll start with free practice on Friday to try and turn it into a competitive package for two 22-lap races on Sunday. I hope the weather is a bit more consistent than it was last season but it would certainly be nice to get another good result at Assen.
It was my first Pitstop Day which it was a lot of fun, and I had a ride as a passenger on the Wall of Death. It was awesome, but it made me feel a bit sick! I'm really looking forward to getting on the bike again at Assen as we know that it goes well there from Johnny's results here. I like Assen, too, and finished twice on the podium the last time I was here on the Honda CBR. We made a lot of progress with the bike during our testing in Spain but it was unfortunate that we had some issues which affected our race weekend at Aragon. Assen has corner characteristics that suit our chassis and there's no long straight, so we're hoping for better results this time out.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
We're all looking forward to going to Assen and not just because it's our home race with the team workshop just down the road. It's well known that the circuit suits both the riders and our bike so, with the improvements that we've made to the base electronics setting in recent weeks, we'll hope for a good weekend in front of all our friends, family and sponsors.