REA SET TO CONTINUE WINNING FORM AS AOYAMA MEETS ANOTHER NEW VENUE

2012-05-22 10:13
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) is heading to the United states of America for the sixth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship with two race victories to his credit already and the desire to keep up the pressure in the championship fight itself.

His race wins on the 2012 spec CBR1000RR, at Assen in April and last time out at Donington, have helped push Jonathan to third in the championship, only 20.5 points from leading rider Max Biaggi (Aprilia) and 15.5 from second place man Tom Sykes (Kawasaki).

Rea now has a double-digit career race win total in this class, thanks to his race two win in England two weeks ago, with all his victories powered by Honda machinery. His most recent victory also makes him only the second rider to have scored more than a single race win this year, the only other being runaway 2011 champion Carlos Checa (Ducati).

Rea's team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) has never been to the beautifully appointed and cleverly designed Miller Motorsports Park before, but he already seems to be a fan, having seen the layout and spoken to his peers about the challenging blind corner entries and surprising elevation changes that belie the circuit's location on the flat high desert floor in Utah.

Former 250GP world champion Aoyama has worked well with his new team in what is his rookie SBK season, scoring points with some regularity despite never quite making it into Superpole qualifying. He was only one place away from the 16-way fight for final grid positions at Donington and the quietly determined Japanese rider is now getting to grips with the awesome power of his CBR1000RR's engine and production-derived chassis set-up. He sits 13th in the rankings, with a single best race finish of eighth to his credit.

It has been a particularly open contest at the head of the SBK championship in 2012 so far, with no fewer than six riders, representing five manufacturers, having taken at least one race win. This statistic is all the more remarkable given that there have been only nine individual races, not the scheduled ten, with the first outing at Monza having been cancelled due to bad weather conditions. It has been a dramatic and unpredictable season in many ways, typified by the fact that only half points were awarded for the lone Monza race, due to its short duration after weather and track conditions made it impossible to continue.

There is no FIM Supersport World Championship round at MMP and therefore the sixth round of that series will take place at the seventh round on the SBK calendar, at Misano Adriatico on June 10.

HONDA RIDER COMMENTS

Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team):
"I am really looking forward to America as we have shown this year already we can be strong. Circuits that we struggled on last year we seem to be doing well on this year, like Donington. Last year Miller was not a great story for us, but it does not have to be that way this year because the bike is in a very different area. I was on the podium at Miller in my first year on a Superbike, but the past two seasons I haven't. I like the layout of the circuit and it is nice to go to another flyaway race. I am excited and motivated and we will go about the job of picking up points, finishing races and see how things are after Monday. What is different from this year to last year is that there are a lot more people who can take points off each other. Last year there may have been a couple of race winners here and there, but it was pretty much the same guys in the top three every weekend. Now you have guys who will win one weekend then be fifth the next weekend. Nobody is running away with those big 25 points all the time."

Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team):
"I am really looking forward to going to Miller. America is a great country and it has a little bit different tradition for motorcycles, but the fans are very excited by racing. The racetrack will be new for me so that means the first day will not be easy. I have seen the layout and it is great, looks nice, and I hope I can start with a good feeling for the bike and the racetrack. I had a little bit more of a positive feeling on the bike at the last race so I hope I can carry that feeling on all through the weekend at Miller - all the way to Monday. I have raced on a Saturday before but never a Monday, so this will be another new thing for me at this round."

Source: Honda Pro Image

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