Rea and Aoyama conclude successful three day Phillip Island test
19 January 2012 10:33
The Honda World Superbike squad of Jonathan Rea and Hiroshi Aoyama wrapped up three days of successful testing at Phillip Island today.
The team enjoyed hot, but sometimes windy conditions during their private test where both riders got fully dialled into their new 2012 specification bikes.
For Rea it was a massive contrast to a pre-season test at the track 12 months ago where he had to be airlifted to hospital following a fast crash.
This time around the 24 year old worked through a whole host of suspension, chassis and electronic components and was able to put them all together on the final day and complete a full race simulation.
Although the team would not disclose any lap times or race times, Rea was clearly upbeat about his and the performance of the entire team.
Speaking to MCN, he said: “It’s fair to say my new crew chief Chris (Pike) loves a race run and he’s certainly got his monies worth out of me over the last three days!
"My last race run was the real thing with a proper start with lights and a chequered flag at the end. For me that was my first race of the year.
“It’s been positive, I feel that we’ve got a good understanding of the bike and it’s definitely a better base package than it was this time last year.”
WSB rookie Hiroshi Aoyama continued to use the three days to adapt to life in WSB and in particular the hugely different character of the Pirelli tyres used in WSB compared to the Bridgestone’s he is used to in MotoGP.
He is also working hard with the team to adapt the bike to his small size and low weight, but despite theses factors he once again continued to impress, lapping within a few tenths of Rea’s best time.
He said: "It’s been an interesting test. My last test was in Qatar over two months ago so it was good to be back on the bike and it’s always good to be at this circuit.
"My feeling is better than it was in Qatar, but I still have to learn the bike and understand the tyres.”
For full insight into the test see MCN out Wednesday 25th January.