Jonathan Rea sets blistering pace at British Superbike test at Cadwell Park

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Jonathan Rea set a blistering pace in the second day of British Superbike testing at Cadwell Park on Thursday morning.

Rea’s best lap on the HM Plant Honda of 1:26.5, during a five-lap stint all inside the 1:26s, was well inside Airwaves Ducati’s Leon Haslam’s lap record of 1:27.7 set last year on the Airwaves Ducati.  

Jonathan Rea was primarily testing Michelin tyres but also ran some different mapping on the HRC bike but wrapped up his test at lunchtime on the second day, even though Honda had the track booked until 6pm for the closed to public test.

Jonathan Rea said: “I’m pretty happy with what we’ve achieved here.  The bike feels good and there was no point in carrying on doing laps for no good reason.”

Team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) looked off the pace – maybe with the Suzuka Eight-Hour weighing on his mind – but Thursday afternoon really got his act together and posted a 1:27.0.

Leon Camier (Bike Animal Honda) had another engine problem with his British Superbike machine on Thursday and didn’t get the track time he was hoping for. He also had some mapping changes and Dunlop tyre testing on the Bike Animal Honda superbike but that allowed him time to pitch in on the team’s supersport bike to help Ian Hutchinson solve a few set-up issues.

Ian Hutchinson completed over 160 laps and said: “We’ve taken a big step forward here. Having Leon ride the bike confirmed three issues I’ve had: snatchiness on initial throttle opening, lack of feel from the front end and lack of grunt. We solved the first two here.

“The bike is a lot smoother now as I come back on the throttle. That was upsetting the chassis before. Improving the forks was the major thing though.

Ian Hutchinson added: Before I had no feel as I tipped in and you need to ride these things on the front so much. Now it’s mint and I can’t wait to get to Knockhill.”  

Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin