With Geoff May injuring himself in yesterday’s final free practice session, the opening round of this year’s World Superbike championship at Phillip Island saw the all new Hero EBR team claim xx and xx in the two races with American Aaron Yates the team’s sole rider aboard the EBR 1190 RX machine.
With the weather conditions almost perfect, the first round of 2014 had the huge crowd on their feet from the opening lap as a series of titanic battles raged throughout the field of 24 riders.
Starting 21st on the grid as a couple of riders including his own team mate were declared unfit, Aaron maintained his position at the end of the opening lap despite a great start which saw him move up to 19th.
As expected though, with a bike still in development Aaron lost touch a little with the group ahead but continued to circulate consistently, eventually bringing the EBR 1190 RX home in a very respectable 17th position.
Having had time to further evaluate the data that was gathered in the opening encounter, Race 2 saw Aaron confident of further improvement in terms of overall race pace and as the race began Aaron was once again ahead of Team Toth BMW rider Imre Toth.
With the sun continuing to shine, Aaron took full advantage of a dry track and once again lapped consistently throughout the race to finish 20th.
Aaron Yates – Team Hero EBR: “The bike was the best that it’s been all weekend. We found something in the warm up session which has helped us massively. Towards the end of the race I was thinking about not getting in the way of leaders but we did what we set out to achieve and that was to finish both races and get a lot more data. We can go to Aragon proud of what we have achieved here.”
Giulio Bardo – Team Manager Hero EBR: “One of the targets was to complete both races with both riders. Unfortunately Geoff got injured but he will be back for the next race. With Aaron we completed both races and that was important for us. We can go back home and between Australia and the next race in Spain, we can further develop the EBR 1190 RX. This weekend we have been chasing our tails a little but the whole team has worked hard and can be satisfied that we are moving in the right direction.”
Round two of the 2014 World Superbike championship takes place in Spain in April.