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Castrol Honda riders happy after two-day Misano test

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The Castrol Honda team has completed a two-day test at the Misano circuit in Italy with riders Jonathan Rea and Ruben Xaus declaring themselves happy with progress. The test was Rea’s first visit to the circuit where he crashed in June, sustaining a wrist injury that kept him out of action until two weeks ago.

With three rounds still remaining in the 2011 World Superbike season, the team has been working on developments for the current CBR1000RR. However, Rea and Xaus were also joined by Japanese rider Makoto Tamada at the Misano test and tried some development parts for next year’s racing machine.

In spite of a brief rain shower this afternoon, the test was conducted in temperatures of more than 30 degrees ahead of next week’s 11th round of the series at Imola, just an hour up the road from Misano.

Jonathan Rea

It’s been a real proper test, this, and we had a lot of stu ff to work through. On top of that, Pirelli also brought some new rubber to try so, in the end, we actually ran out of time. We probably needed the rest of this week to get through everything, but we can definitely see the potential of the fly-by-wire system that I tested for the first time today. Also, I’m able to ride a lot more in my comfort zone with this new package and it helped with engine braking, too. Going back to Misano was no problem for me and, in fact, I was going through the corner where I crashed faster than I did during the race weekend in June. Pirelli brought a lot of soft rubber and we could have used a qualifier to try for a time, but we had to keep our heads down and keep focused on the work we had to get through. The lap time is probably about where we are at the moment, but we know that the next step forward will push us back to the front.

Ruben Xaus

Well it felt good to be back on a bike again properly f or the first time since the Brno crash in July. Of course, after two days of testing, I was tired, but it felt like a naturally tiredness. We’ve been testing some different electronics and the bike is much easier to control. The feeling is much better and the bike definitely feels stronger and faster. It’s been a good two days for motivation and to give me confidence heading into Imola next week – I’m feeling like I can really go for it when we get there.

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