News 21 Sep 2011

Castrol Honda to adopt new technology ahead of Imola WSBK round

Jonathan Rea and Castrol Honda will race with a ride-by-wire system this weekend in Italy.

Jonathan Rea and Castrol Honda will race with a ride-by-wire system this weekend in Italy.

The Castrol Honda World Superbike team will use a new ride-by-wire throttle system in round 11 of the World Superbike championship at Imola in Italy this weekend.

The team has been developing the system for several weeks in preparation for the 2012 season and tested it on the Castrol Honda CBR1000RR machines with Jonathan Rea and Ruben Xaus at a two-day test in Misano last week.

Following an announcement by the Superbike Commission of the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motorcyclisme) last Friday, sanctioning the use of electronically controlled throttle valves, the Castrol Honda team has opted to use it in a race weekend for the first time.

“The Misano test last week was pretty good and allowed us to see the potential of the new ride-by-wire system,” Rea explained. “There’s more work to do though, and we’ll continue development of the package at Imola this weekend with one eye on the 2012 season, although of course I’ll be aiming for two good results for myself and the team.

“Imola has so much history and I remember the great battle between Castrol Honda’s Colin Edwards and Troy Bayliss there back in 2002. It’s a circuit I really enjoy riding but I didn’t have so much luck last year, crashing out of a really wet Superpole and breaking my wrist, which ended my season a little prematurely.

“Since then, I’ve had a similar injury on my other wrist, but it was good to come back at Nurburgring in the last round.”

Although the Castrol Honda team has enjoyed success at Imola in previous seasons, Rea has never finished on the podium there, while Xaus, who will race this weekend for the first time since injuring his back in July at Brno in the Czech Republic, has enjoyed three race victories.