Rea and Aoyama working well in Qatar test

Castrol Honda riders Jonathan Rea and new to WSB, Hiroshi Aoyama are mid way through their second day of testing at the Losail circuit in Qatar.

The two men have benefited from near perfect testing conditions with 33 degree air temperature and 50 degree track temperature. Grip levels at the circuit are also good due to the amount of rubber on track following the 8 hour Qatar World Endurance race last weekend.

Aoyama got his first taste of the Castrol Honda yesterday, his first ever ride on a Superbike, and has continued to adapt his style with a significant drop in lap time today.

Rea has a host of new components to test and has so far been concentrating on suspension and chassis changes. Following the teams switch from Andreani Ohlins suspension to full factory Ohlins equipment for 2012, Rea has all new hardware to evaluate.

Speaking to MCN from Qatar, he said: “It’s going really well.. We’ve made some big changes to the bike and lots of progress. The aim of the test is to develop 2011 parts inline with the 2012 bike and we’ve been doing most of our work on the chassis.

“When we first started testing tyre life was an issue and we were only really getting half race distance, but now we’re able to set good times for a full 18 lap race run.

Rea and Aoyama will conclude their three day test tomorrow.

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Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider