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World Superstock 1000

Tuesday 3rd May 2011

CASTROL HONDA DUO SEEKS SPEED FOR MONZA

Jonathan Rea and Ruben Xaus are gearing up for round four of the 2011 World Superbike Championship, which takes place this weekend (6-8 May) at the historic Monza circuit in northern Italy.

The Castrol Honda riders will be hoping for better fortunes than those they experienced at the corresponding event last year, when sixth place for Xaus in race one at the 5.793km Monza circuit was the only result achieved between the pair, then competing for different teams.

After qualifying on the front row, Rea crashed spectacularly at Monza’s famous Parabolica corner in race one last season, before being taken out – along with Xaus – in a first corner crash at the very start of the second race.

Rea brings good form to Monza, however, after taking the Castrol Honda team’s first race win of the season last time out at Assen in the Netherlands. The 24-year-old Ulsterman followed up his victory with third place in ra ce two to put himself fourth in the overall standings, just 10 points behind second-placed Max Biaggi.

Xaus continues his adaptation to the all-round dynamism of the Castrol Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, and further progress was made at Assen when the Spanish rider took another top ten finish to learn more about his machine’s characteristics.

Jonathan Rea
I’m really looking forward to going back to Monza – I love racing in Italy, where the crowds are so enthusiastic and the food is pretty special, too! It didn’t go so well last year, with a big DNF in race one, which I think has become a bit of a YouTube sensation! Race two was finished almost before it began, but we still took a lot of positives from Monza last year. We ran at in the top three in all sessions and qualified on the front row, so the bike is a great all-round package. It may not be the fastest but it worked well generating momentum for the stra ights, which are so important at Monza. We had a bit of a break-through at Assen a couple of weeks ago and we want to continue those podium ways for as long as we can.

Ruben Xaus
Italy is like a home race for me – I have a lot of friends and sponsors who have helped my career for many years, so I love going to Monza, of course. Everything was going pretty good for me there last season, apart from crashing with Johnny at the start of race two because of another rider’s mistake. I hope to make a step up this year because we were able to figure out some things after the Assen race. I need to ride the bike in a particular way to get the maximum performance. In some sectors at Assen I was able to do this and was as fast as the riders at the front, so this is what we’ll work on this weekend in Monza. The whole crew is working really hard, like me, so I think this will be the key. Getting out of the corners to generate maxim um speed down the straights is the most important thing at Monza, and that’s where we will focus on the set-up.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager
Well, Monza is just about the biggest dyno room I’ve ever seen in my life! A lot of it is about speed and, of course, set-up is important there, but a fast bike really counts. It’s why we have never chosen Monza as a test track because our testing for the circuit usually happens on the team dyno back home, where the tuning department develops a special set-up to give the bike a little bit more speed. Ruben learned some more about the bike at Assen, so we’re looking forward to see another step-up from him at Monza, where he has gone well in the past. Jonathan gave us another great weekend in front of our home crowd at Assen, and the whole team, including our sponsors and supporters, got a great boost from his victory. But now we must push on and take advantage o f the momentum that it generated as the season progresses.

2011 World Superbike Championship, round four, Monza – schedule (local times):

Friday 6 May
11.30 Free practice (60 min)
15.30 Qualifying practice (60 min)
Saturday 7 May
10.45 Qualifying practice (45 min)
13.45 Free practice (45 min)
15.00 Superpole 1 (14 min)
15.21 Superpole 2 (12 min)
15.40 Superpole 3 (10 min)
Sunday 8 May
09.20 Warm-up (15 min)
12.00 Race 1 (18 laps – 103.986km)
15.30 Race 2 (18 laps – 103.986km)

 

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