News 21 Jun 2009

WSBK: Rea continues good form for Honda at Misano

Ten Kate Honda:

Sleeping with the Enemy the movie

Jonathan Rea set the second fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole sessions to earn himself a place on the front row alongside pole setter Jakub Smrz for tomorrow’s two 24-lap eighth round World Superbike championship races at Misano in Italy.

Having topped the time sheets in the preceding free practice and the first two Superpole sessions, Rea missed on out his maiden pole position by just one tenth of a second after running new suspension on his Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR for the first time this weekend.

His team-mate, Carlos Checa, also found himself in the position of having to test new suspension whilst working on bike set-up for the 4.2km Misano circuit. However, the Spaniard also made it through to the final Superpole session to set the seventh fastest time for a second row start.

Jonathan Rea – P2, 1’35.609s

I can’t thank the crew enough for working so hard this week. We got some new hardware to try at Magny-Cours and it’s been a bit of a rush to get everything together. In the last couple of sessions we managed to find some times and that’s given us a good starting position, which is what we needed and were aiming for. I want to thank the Ten Kate team for the belief they’ve had in me over the last few races – we’re really moving forward now and it’s a real buzz. We’re not anywhere near the limit with the new suspension yet and there’s still a lot more we can do. So I’m really looking forward to tomorrow and just hope it’s dry to give all the fans some really good races.

Carlos Checa – P7, 1’36.537s

Well, I finished seventh in all the sessions except one, I think, so it was to be expected. But tomorrow we all hope for something a little higher! It’s good that finally I got a good feeling and we were able to improve the bike some more. In Superpole 3 I had to use a race tyre because I used both qualifiers in the second Superpole. I didn’t have the extra grip that might have improved the position but I went as fast on the race tyre anyway. The second row is not too bad – the bike is running very well on race tyres, we have the pace and we’re ready for the fight tomorrow.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager

As anyone can understand, we chose a very difficult path for this weekend in Misano. But already, at this early stage, we can definitely say that we’ve made a step forward. A lot of credit has to go to Andreani Group for making our transition to Ohlins so smooth. For sure, we still have a long night ahead of us because we’re still at the very early stages of machine set-up, but it’s good to have both Hannspree riders in the front two rows and to have them in such good shape for tomorrow’s races.

In changeable weather conditions, Ryuichi Kiyonari set the eighth fastest time in today’s Superpole sessions at Misano in Italy to secure a second row start for tomorrow’s two eighth round World Superbike championship races.

The Japanese ace had been running near the top of the leaderboard in all earlier practice sessions but opted to use his two allotted Pirelli qualifiers in the second Superpole session to ensure progression to the final eight-rider shoot out. Going out on a race tyre early in the final session, Kiyonari crashed unhurt at turn one on his first flying lap.

As Jakub Smrz took his first WSBK pole position, Kiyonari brought his Honda Genuine Accessories-backed CBR1000RR Fireblade back to the pits for sufficient repairs to complete a further four laps, but was unable to improve his position.

Ryuichi Kiyonari – P8, 1’36.884s

Before the start of the first Superpole session, we changed the setting a little bit but, as soon as I went out I knew it was not right so came straight back in. It cost us a bit of time and put the time under a bit of pressure but I made it through to Superpole 2 – only just! In Superpole 2, I used both my qualifiers to make sure I went through and I had a good feeling when I had to go back on the race tyre in the final session. I am a lot more comfortable than last year, and the bike feels a lot better, so I hope for dry weather tomorrow and two good results.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager

Kiyo has shown really good pace all weekend but, unfortunately, the crash in Superpole stopped his charge forward. Second row is good enough for him, though, because we know that he can usually gain a few places in the race. As long as it’s either wet or dry tomorrow, he has pace enough for a good result.