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Honda WSBK enters winter break after successful test at Jerez

Honda WSB_112715

The Honda World Superbike Team completed a three-day test at Circuito de Jerez today in readiness for the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship. This was the last outing of the year for the Dutch-based outfit before the start of the testing ban, which will mean the WorldSBK teams have to stop their track activities until mid January.

Nicky Hayden made the most of the warm and sunny conditions to continue his familiarisation with the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP. The 34-year-old put in a remarkable total of 250 laps around the 4.423km (2.748 mile) Spanish track over the course of the three days as he worked tirelessly with the team on various aspects of the bike. The 34-year-old American evaluated new swingarms and tried different geometries, gearing, front fork and rear damper settings. In the afternoon of t he final day, Hayden got a successful first taste of Pirelli’s qualifying tyres, clocking in with a 1’40.193 lap time.

2014 World Supersport Champion Michael van der Mark had to pull out from the test after the first day of action due to pain in his right forearm. Initial medical examinations performed at the Stuivenberg Hospital in Antwerp, Belgium, by Dr Geert Peersman, reported an overstressed muscle, with the presence of fluid, which was aggravated by the cold conditions encountered in MotorLand Aragón early last week. The 23-year-old Dutchman has received an initial treatment and will now take a week of complete rest before a further evaluation of his condition takes place.

Nicky Hayden
“We really must be thankful for the weather because, apart from temperatures a bit chilly in the morning, we had really great weather for three days; we needed it after missing so much time at MotorLand Aragon. We worked a lot in pretty much every area, because it’s still early days. We tested a lot of things and the team worked extremely hard over the three days changing wheelbase, gearing and more. They did a huge amount of work. Overall we take some positives out of this test. I had great fun on the qualifying tyre today and I was told my time would have been enough to be on pole position here two months ago. It’s clear that everybody has made a big step forward already so we still have a lot of work to do. But I’m happy and looking forward to everything, let’s see if we can keep going this way.”

Michael van der Mark
“I’m very disappointed that I could not make the most of this test, as the severe pain in my right forearm didn’t allow me to continue riding. It’s a shame because this was a great chance for us to keep working on the bike before the winter break, especially given the perfect weather conditions we encountered. We still need a week to fully understand what we need to do but it looks like it’s a small issue that can be solved quite quickly. There is nothing I can do now, I just need to wait and be ready for January.”

Pieter Breddels – technical manager

“Despite Michael not being able to ride in the last two days, it has been overall a very productive test. With Nicky everything went smooth, we did a lot of laps and went through a lot of things. I think we’ve made a good step forward. Today we tried some qualifying tyres and the lap-time Nicky was able to set is promising. All the big teams were testing here so this has been a good benchmark for us and we’re very happy with how it went. We can now enter the winter break in a positive mood and we will keep working hard in order to be ready for the next test in January, when we will try new items and especially a new engine upgrade, which will soon be available to us.”