The Pata Honda team is leaving Jerez after concluding a satisfactory three-day test yesterday and the Netherlands-based squad is preparing to return to Spain next week for round two of the 2014 World Superbike championship at Motorland Aragon.
The Jerez outing followed another three-day test at Cartagena last week and both Pata Honda riders, Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam, are happy with the progress that has been made by the team on their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machines.
With the help of Italian test rider Michele Magnoni, the British pair used the Jerez test to try a variety of different chassis settings and components, as well as refining the traction control and engine braking on their CBRs.
“We’re still a little bit away from outright domination and probably have some more work to do to get on the podium here, but overall I’m quite happy with the progress we’ve made. The traction control is now working pretty well, although there’s still a bit more work needed on engine braking. We’ve definitely made some steps forward though. The weather’s been a little up and down – today was wet and the second day was quite windy. We tested some new Pirelli qualifiers and I was quite fast, but we need more ultimate pace on race tyres. I’m OK when they’re old and a bit worn, but need a little more from the new tyre. We also tested a heap of different chassis settings on the first day.”
“I only got eight laps in today because the weather was not so good, but it was still useful and I was pretty happy with the steps we made on the first two days. I struggled a little with the qualifiers but we have definitely made some progress on the race tyres and I was able to lap in the low 41s here. That’s a massive improvement on the race at the end of last season, but that was one to forget really. I’ve been quicker than I’ve ever been around Jerez during this test and it’s always good to come back here and measure progress.”
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
“With Cartagena last week, these six days of testing have been pretty good for us and allowed us to make some useful progress. We’ve definitely stepped forward and we are closer to our competitors. We’re certainly in much better shape than during the Jerez race last season. Aragon next week will present us with a different track and new challenges, but we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to apply a lot of what we’ve learned over these six testing days and target some more positive results.”