HONDA RACING NEWS

World Superbike and World Supersport 2012
Round 01: Phillip Island Circuit – Australia – February 26, 2012

Honda World Superbike Team harvests points in Australia

Jonathan Rea

Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) was only 0.134 seconds from third place in the second 22-lap race at Phillip Island, having held a top three finishing spot for virtually all the second leg around the 4.445Km circuit. After a seventh spot in race one, Rea sits fifth in the championship rankings, on 22 points, after opening day races that were won by Max Biaggi (Aprilia) and Carlos Checa (Ducati).

Jonathan Rea at Phillip Island

The rider from Northern Ireland had qualified in eighth place and after the disappointment of race one he was in determined mood in race two. His tyre had finally given its best, however, and despite some great tactical riding to keep eventual third place rider Tom Sykes behind him, Sykes had better drive out of the final corner and passed him down the long finish straight.

New SBK rider Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) rode with intelligence to record eighth in race one and ninth in race two, results that place him ninth in the championship overall, ahead of many more experienced riders in this class.

Hiroshi Aoyama at Phillip Island

Hiroshi was 17th in combined qualifying, which determined the grid positions after Superpole was cancelled. This was due to a fatal accident suffered by local rider Oscar McIntyre in a support class race earlier in the day, and Honda extends its deepest sympathises and condolences to Oscar’s family and friends.

New regulations, which specify that each rider only have one bike in the pit box in 2012, had an effect in qualifying for both Rea and Aoyama, each of whom lost some valuable time in this year’s 45-minute sessions. Rea missed some action after a sensor malfunctioned inside his engine and Aoyama had to have crash damage repaired.

Raffaele De Rosa (Pro Ride Motorsports Honda) did not start in race one despite making it to the start-line, and he was 17th from seventeen finishers in race two in his first race in this division, missing out on scoring points.

Honda Rider Comments:
Jonathan Rea – 7th and 4th.

We’ve still got a bagful of points to go on to Imola with but we wanted to be on the podium in both races. I honestly feel like we got a bad tyre in race one and in race two we didn’t want to run in the same situation, so we were thinking about changing the tyre, but all our logic and race runs throughout the weekend told us to keep this [harder] tyre in the heat. Directly, I had more grip – OK, the temperature was even hotter, which would go against our logic – but the tyre felt like it should feel and I was able to ride strong and consistent until probably five laps to go when durability fell off and I was going backwards. I felt fresh and strong in both races and the guys have worked well all weekend. We had a little crash on Saturday and the boys worked so good with the one-bike rule to get us back out there. You have to think that this circuit is a bit unique with the tyre character, how long you’re on the side and the heat generated in the tyre. Now we move on to some tracks that are good for us and there’s a lot of work to do back at base. The guys need to find some speed, so that’s on the agenda; I’ve just done a de-brief and everything feels OK. I want to say thanks to everyone for all their help this weekend – it feels good to get to the start of the season fit and healthy and I’m looking forward to round two now. 
 

Hiroshi Aoyama – 8th and 9th 
I think it’s not so bad for my first Superbike weekend. We had a not-so-easy start on Friday when I had one crash and we had a lot of problems. That didn’t help us to go much faster and we tried many things but couldn’t improve. In the races we managed to finish in the top ten with eighth and ninth and I want to say thanks to all the guys who worked for me. It was a tough weekend but ended up not too bad. I’m looking forward to the next race in Imola – of course I’ve never ridden there, so it’s going to be tough for Friday. We have month to improve the bike a little bit and, if I can find a better feeling, I can push a little bit more and this is what I am looking for. Anyway, considering the situation now, it’s not so bad!

 

Parkes Climbs The Podium After Short but Epic Supersport Race

Broc Parkes on the Podium

Pole position man Broc Parkes Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) made a less than perfect start in the FIM Supersport World Championship race and was down in fifth for some time, then dropped to sixth, before fighting back to score third place at his home race, all despite ever-worsening rear tyre grip.

Due to fears about tyre life in the hot track conditions at Phillip Island the opening round was shortened to 15-laps instead of the scheduled 21. Most riders still had traction issues on race-day, despite track temperatures of 43°C, far less than the near 60°C temperatures which were evident during final qualifying on Saturday. Parkes was also fastest man in warm-up this morning, despite only doing three laps right at the end of the 20-minute session.

Former Moto2 rider, but WSS rookie Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) followed up on a third place grid position with fourth in the race, just over two seconds from winner Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) and second place rider Fabien Foret (Kawasaki). Cluzel also found issues with rear tyre grip near the end and could not hold onto the more experienced Parkes.

Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) opted to bring his bike home safely in fifth place, just less than five seconds from the winner, as he has a blistered rear tyre. His mature approach earned him eleven championship points. He had started from second spot on the grid, the middle rider in a qualifying 1-2-3 run for Honda.

Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda) went from 13th on the grid to an assured seventh in the race, ending up riding alone and to save his rear tyre. Lukas Pesek (PRORACE Honda) secured a top ten on the opening day of WSS play, stepping up two places from his qualifying position.

South African Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda) was the last Honda rider in the points, 14th, and one of many new riders to the class this season. He had qualified 15th.

Balazs Nemeth (Racing Team Toth Honda) was on course for a top ten until he slipped back severely to record a 20th place finish.

Andrea Antonelli (Team Lorini Honda), Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda) and Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda) finished 16th, 17th and 18th respectively.

Pawel Szkopek (Bogdanka Racing Honda) and Ondrej Jezek (SMS Racing Honda) each failed to finish, as did ninth place qualifier Roberto Tamburini (Team Lorini Honda). Thomas Caiani (KUJA Racing Honda) was the last rider classified as a finisher, in 23rd place after experiencing some issues in practice.

HONDA RIDER COMMENTS:  
Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) 
- 3rd.

“I did not get a good start, but I was not too concerned about it. I did not attack well enough in the first six or seven laps. So I left my charge a bit too late. I was really concerned about my rear tyre, maybe a little bit too much. It was still torn quite a bit at the end. I just could not do any more and had to take the points today. I lost a gap early on and tried to close the gap at the end, but my grip was going quite quick at the end. A top three in the first race is quite good all the same.”

RACE RESULTS:
World Superbike and World Supersport 2012


Round 01: Phillip Island Circuit – Australia

Superbike Race 1

Rank Rider (Team)

1

M. BIAGGI (Aprilia Racing Team)

2

M. MELANDRI (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)

3

S. GUINTOLI (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)

4

T. SYKES (Kawasaki Racing Team)

5

J. SMRZ (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert)

6

M. FABRIZIO (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet)

7

J. REA (Honda World Superbike Team)

8

H. AOYAMA (Honda World Superbike Team)

9

D. GIUGLIANO (Althea Racing)

10

B. STARING (Team Pedercini)

11

L. ZANETTI (PATA Racing Team)

12

L. HASLAM (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)

13

M. BERGER (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)

14

D. SALOM (Team Pedercini)

15

J. LASCORZ (Kawasaki Racing Team)

 

Superbike Race 2

Rank Rider (Team)

1

C. CHECA (Althea Racing)

2

M. BIAGGI (Aprilia Racing Team)

3

T. SYKES (Kawasaki Racing Team)

4

J. REA (Honda World Superbike Team)

5

L. HASLAM (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)

6

M. MELANDRI (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)

7

M. BERGER (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)

8

E. LAVERTY (Aprilia Racing Team)

9

H. AOYAMA (Honda World Superbike Team)

10

N. CANEPA (Red Devils Roma)

11

J. SMRZ (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert)

12

L. CAMIER (Crescent Fixi Suzuki)

13

D. GIUGLIANO (Althea Racing)

14

L. ZANETTI (PATA Racing Team)

15

J. BROOKES (Crescent Fixi Suzuki)

 

Supersport

Rank Rider (Team)

1

K. SOFUOGLU (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini)

2

F. FORET (Kawasaki Intermoto Step)

3

B. PARKES (Ten Kate Racing Products)

4

J. CLUZEL (PTR Honda)

5

S. LOWES (Bogdanka PTR Honda)

6

S. MORAIS (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini)

7

R. QUARMBY (PTR Honda)

8

A. BALDOLINI (Power Team by Suriano)

9

V. IANNUZZO (Power Team by Suriano)

10

L. PESEK (PRORACE)

11

J. METCHER (Rivamoto Junior Team)

12

J. DAY (Team GOELEVEN)

13

L. MARCONI (VFT Racing)

14

M. SCHOLTZ (Bogdanka PTR Honda)

15

F. MENGHI (VFT Racing)

 

 

Honda Indy V8 Honoured by Race Engine Magazine
Race Engine Technology magazine, a respected British technical publication, has named the Honda Indy V8 engine as its “North American Race Engine of the Year” for 2011. In its latest issue, the Honda Indy V8 engine was recognized by Race Engine Technology for its combination of reliability, performance and equality during its just-concluded six-year run as the engine supplied to every team taking part in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Honda took on the role of single engine supplier to IndyCar racing in 2006, after scoring back-to-back Manufacturers’ Championships the previous two seasons. Throughout six years as single engine supplier, 98 different drivers completed more than one million miles (1,188,366) of practice, qualifying and racing, with only six in-race engine failures. No in-race failures were reported during the entire 2008, 2010 and 2011 race seasons.

In 2011 alone, 41 drivers completed 206,113 miles of IZOD IndyCar Series competition without a single race-day failure.
From 2006-2011, Honda also powered the entire 33-car Indianapolis 500 starting field. For a record-setting six consecutive seasons – and the only six times in Indy history – there were no engine-related retirements during the running of the Memorial Day classic.

“The Honda Indy V8 engine had quite a run, and we are honored to be recognized for its accomplishments by Race Engine Technology,” said Roger Griffiths, technical director of Honda Performance Development, the racing arm of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “In addition to its well-deserved reputation for reliability, we take pride in the effort made by our associates at HPD, and our technical partners at Ilmor Engineering, to ensure equality and reliability to all teams and drivers throughout our time as engine supplier to the IndyCar Series, during which performance levels of all the engines varied by less than one per cent.”

In 2012, manufacturer competition returns to the IZOD IndyCar Series with both Chevrolet and Lotus joining Honda. All three companies have produced new, turbocharged V6 engines to new series specifications. Honda’s new engine, the HI12R, will make its competition debut March 25 at the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida.

Features of the new design include a combined direct/indirect fuel injection system, single Borg-Warner turbocharger, “drive-by-wire” throttle technology and a series-spec McLaren Electronics Engine Control Unit (ECU).
Established in 2003 and published eight times a year, Race Engine Technology is a professional review and technical journal, covering contemporary racing power-train developments and technologies. Under the direction of publisher Simon Moss, the magazine is read by professional power-train designers, engineers and industry professionals throughout the global racing community.

Founded in 1993, Honda Performance Development (HPD) is the Honda racing company within North America. HPD is the technical operations center for high-performance Honda racing cars and engines and operates at race circuits around the world from its headquarters in Santa Clarita, California.

Honda has been a fixture in North American open-wheel racing since 1994, and has played an active role in the growth of the IZOD IndyCar Series – as both a Manufacturers’ Championship competitor and single engine supplier – since joining the series in 2003.
The company scored its first Indianapolis 500 victory in 2004 with Buddy Rice; Manufacturers’ Championships in 2004 and ’05; and became engine supplier to the entire IZOD IndyCar Series in 2006. The 2010 Indianapolis 500, won by Dario Franchitti, marked Honda’s 100th race win as a manufacturer and engine supplier in IZOD IndyCar Series competition.

In addition to its efforts in Indy car racing, HPD spearheaded championship-winning efforts in the 2009-2010 American Le Mans Series, 2010 Le Mans Series and the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans.

HPD offers a line of race engines for track applications from prototype sports cars to karting; for professional, amateur and entry-level efforts.

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