The Pata Honda World Superbike team concluded back-to-back pre-season tests today at Aragon in Spain, following a two-day test last week at Portimao in Portugal.
Unfortunately, the weather at both tests prevented riders Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark from completing a full scheduled programme on the 2015 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machine that they will campaign in this season’s World Superbike championship.
However, in spite of some rain at Portimao and very low track temperatures at Aragon, both riders declared themselves happy with the progress that was made in developing this year’s CBR alongside new technical regulations for the series.
Reigning World Superbike champion, Sylvain Guintoli, said: “In spite of the rain in Portimao last week, the test was good there for the first time out on the 2015-spec CBR; and the times were quite good, even on 25-lap tyres. I was feeling a lot more comfortable on the bike by the end. Aragon has also been good, but it’s been really cold. We worked on power delivery, engine brake and bike balance with some interesting findings. I cannot wait to race in Australia.”
Guintoli’s 2015 team-mate, current World Supersport champion, Michael van der Mark, was equally positive, despite a lack of track time: “The test was quite good for what we were able to do,” he said. “This afternoon I did many laps of Aragon and tried many different things, but of course, the track was not in an ideal condition for the tyres. But I’m happy with the laps we were able to make and I’m looking forward to testing some more in, hopefully, drier and more normal conditions.”
The team’s technical co-ordinator, Pieter Breddels, said, “After yesterday’s wash out, we were able to do some laps today and cross-check the settings found in Portimao last week. Michael tested new front geometry, which Sylvain already tested last week, and we tried some softer springs and a higher bike for Sylvain to give him a little more feel and transfer. All in all, considering track conditions and the number of laps, we leave with a positive feeling for our third and final test this month where we hope to see some more dry track time.”
The two world champions will now make their way to Verona in Italy where the full 2015 Pata Honda rider line-up will be presented to media and race fans at Motor Bike Expo this Saturday 24 January.
Following the team launch, both riders will return to Spain for a further two-day test at Jerez on Monday and Tuesday next. After this final European pre-season outing, the Pata Honda bikes and equipment will head north to the team’s workshop in the Netherlands to be packed into flight cases for Australia, where round one of the 2015 championship will take place on 22 February.