Pata Honda riders gather points under Malaysian sun

Race 1 Conditions : Sunny
Temperature : Air 32°C / Track 50°C
Humidity : 72%
Race 2 Conditions : Sunny
Temperature : Air 36°C / Track 50°C
Humidity : 50%

Pata Honda riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam scored valuable championship points in today`s two sixth-round World Superbike championship races at Sepang in Malaysia but were unable to challenge at the front of the field.


Today`s two 16-lap encounters at the fast and flowing 5.548km Sepang circuit near Kuala Lumpur were both won by Marco Melandri, with Jonathan Rea finishing the two races in sixth position as he battled his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP with temperatures in the mid-30s and the track above 50˚C.

Rea was innocently caught in a first lap crash in the first outing and was forced off the Sepang circuit at turn three before rejoining in last place. The 27-year-old quickly set about taking advantage of the absence of series leader Tom Sykes and scored ten valuable championship points at the flag.

Race two was interrupted by oil on the track and restarted over ten laps, with Rea starting from seventh place. He matched the pace of riders in front of him but was not able to improve on his first race result.

Rea`s Pata Honda team-mate, Leon Haslam got a good start to race one but experienced corner entry problems on his way to seventh place. His second outing was no easier in the Sepang heat and the 30-year-old British rider could finish no better than eleventh.


Jonathan Rea – 6th and 6th
It`s been a very tough weekend and it`s not where we want to be. But we kind of made some steps forward when it mattered, especially in race two when I was able to carry a much better pace than I have all weekend in the heat. But it seems our engine braking system is too sensitive to different conditions and different circuits, which is frustrating because when I had grip at the beginning I had no problem entering the corners but at the end of the race I had a lot of chatter from the rear when the grip went down. But I really enjoyed riding this track, even though we didn`t get the full potential out of the CBR this weekend. I look forward to the next race at Misano because it`s a circuit that I love.

Leon Haslam – 7th and 11th
I think we`ve both struggled this weekend, and I`m not sure whether it`s the hot conditions or the low grip levels. We made a different plan for this weekend on the chassis and it`s definitely showed up some positives. We have a couple of technical issues which set us back a little but in the race it was quite difficult with me and Jonathan riding around for the lesser points positions which is not ideal. Hopefully we can learn a lot from this weekend and take that to Misano.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
Jonathan did not really have good qualifying or practice sessions and we went back to a setting from yesterday. Two sixth places were not too bad under the circumstances and probably the maximum for this track for us at the moment. We`ll be working hard to be able to fight again for the podium at Misano. Leon was able to stay with Jonathan quite well when he passed him in race one and we made some positive steps during the weekend. His position in race two was a bit of a disappointment though, so we`ll have to see what happened there. All in all it`s been quite a tough weekend so we look forward to going back to Europe and Misano.



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