Tough return to #SBK for @Rea and @Aoyama
Jonathan Rea and Hiroshi Aoyama both endured a difficult first day at Silverstone in the UK, the opening action for round 10 of the 2012 World Superbike championship in which local rider, Tom Sykes, took provisional pole position.
One of several rain showers fell after just a few laps of the first free practice session this morning restricting track time, and, although this afternoon’s qualifying session began slightly damp, both Honda World Superbike Team riders finished outside the top 16 provisional Superpole qualifiers.
Rea and Aoyama have just returned from contesting the famous Suzuka 8-hours race on different Honda CBR1000RR Fireblades, but some adjustment has been required to ride the more powerful, Pirelli-shod SBK specification version.
Jonathan Rea – P18
It’s been a very disappointing day to be caught out of the provisional top 16 for Superpole. My bike’s just not turning and I’m still struggling with the feeling from the throttle. It’s a little bit me, as well, adjusting back again after the 8-hour, because the two bikes are completely different, and with today’s sessions not being 100% dry, it’s taken me a little longer than I expected to get back up to speed. I hope it’s dry for second qualifying in the morning because it’s been one of our most difficult days today.
Hiroshi Aoyama – P20
The feeling with the bike was not so good from the start of practice. I guess I was a little bit confused at the beginning because the bike is so different from the one I rode at Suzuka. The basic combination of the bike with this track is not so nice and we have to adapt a little bit the character of the bike to match the track. The rain lost us some time as well and I only did a couple of laps in the wet this morning. We need to check some more tomorrow in case there is rain on Sunday, too.
Pieter Breddels – team co-ordinator
We had various weather conditions today which took away a bit of track time from us and the riders found it a little hard to adapt from the Suzuka 8-hours machines they were riding in Japan last weekend. Hiroshi is missing those few tenths to move forward to a Superpole position and on Jonathan’s side there is quite a lot of work to do, but of course, we cannot be happy with these positions. We hope for better positions tomorrow.
2012 World Superbike championship, round 10 – Silverstone, UK
First qualifying results:
1 Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki
2 Carlos Checa (ESP) Ducati
3 Sylvain Guintoli (FRA) Ducati
4 Leon Camier (GBR) Suzuki
6 Chaz Davies (GBR) Aprilia
7 Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aprilia
8 Leon Zanetti (ITA) Ducati
18 Jonathan Rea (GBR) Honda World Superbike Team
20 Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Honda World Superbike Team
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