The Pata Honda squad of Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam are looking forward to a return to Italy this weekend, as the World Superbike championship moves to a track that the team's two British riders believes will suit the characteristics of their Fireblades.
With Jonathan Rea currently lying third in the series, the team have been making consistent progress, even at tracks like the last round in Sepang, where the team knew from beforehand that the speed disadvantage to their Kawasaki and Aprilia rivals would cost them.
However, Misano should allow the Dutch team to be more competitive, despite mixed emotions for Rea as they venture to the Adriatic coast.
“I injured my wrist quite badly at Misano in 2011, but the highlight there will always be memories of my first World Superbike win in my debut year in 2009. I love the track layout and the atmosphere at Misano and it’s in a beautiful part of the world. We’ve struggled a bit at the last two rounds so we’re hoping that the circuit will suit the new Fireblade SP. “
“The team and I certainly learned a lot at Sepang and we’ll be working hard all weekend to get back to podium ways. I’m really excited about this round because it marks the halfway point in the season and, with three races now in fairly quick succession, it’s important to maximise our performances before we head into the summer break.”
Team technical co-ordinator Pieter Breddels concluded: “I think we’re done with P6 for Jonathan now! He’s had four of those in a row now and we need to get back towards P3 and some more podiums! At Donington and Sepang we weren’t able to give him a bike to do that but I think that with the things we’ve learned in the last few races and our experience at Misano we should be able to improve things this weekend.”