Honda Press Release After Johnny Rea's Sepang MotoGP Test - Day 1

Ten Kate Honda World Superbike rider Jonathan Rea is at Sepang, testing a Honda MotoGP bike for the first time. Below is the press release issued by Honda after the first day of testing:


HRC MotoGP test session Sepang Malaysia. Opening day of three-day test 

The HRC R&D Team began a three-day test session at the Sepang circuit, Malaysia today in preparation for the 2011 MotoGP season.

Alongside HRC test rider, Kousuke Akiyoshi, who is continuing the development of the RCV212, HRC also invited Jonathan Rea, the Honda Ten Kate World Superbike Team rider to join the test.

Jonathan Rea made his very first ride on a MotoGP machine today and HRC is pleased to give him the possibility to test ride the RCV212 for the first time.

After having adjusted the riding position on the RC212V to suit his stature, the 23 year old Rea, from Ballymena, Northern Ireland, went on track today joining Japanese rider, and Suzuka 8-hour team-mate Akiyoshi.

Akiyoshi and Rea made the most of the warm weather at the 5.548km circuit to complete almost full day’s work with the Honda RC212V stopping for just one hour due to a short rain shower.

Jonathan made a start to the three-day test and completed 51 laps familiarizing himself with the characteristics of the grand prix machine.

Jonathan Rea: 
"Today I had great fun learning a MotoGP bike and the Sepang circuit is impressive! My body is still not 100% and this is a pity, but I had a very good day with the HRC test team. I spent almost all my career on production derived bikes, I just rode a 125 GP a few years ago, and today I had a good feeling riding the Honda RCV212. The bike feels very powerful, the engine revs higher than my CBR1000R and it is easy to change direction. I’d like to thank HRC and Honda Europe for this opportunity. I am looking forward for the next two days of testing."

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How boring.. why did HRC even bother?or just to make excuses for the fact that he is still not very well..
Could they not higher Makoto Tamada to ride and develop the bike?

Four factory riders for 2011.Smart,very smart timing,this test. HRC perhaps listening to Stoner. Rea,revelling in it.
Would be interesting to hear a little about his feeling with Bridgestone rubber.
HRC are apparenty on a mission to win 800GP 2011,(understatement?). Obviously not as expectant as they were 2007 with the inaugural 'Dani Special',some might say.
Looks like they are chucking the kitchen sink at this title.
Why not ? Old scores to settle. All the best with the rest of the test.
HRC snatched the last 2 stroke 250 title from the jaws of defeat.
I would not put it past them doing the same in 800GP next year.
2 days to go in Sepang for Johnny. All the very best to Johnny Rea.
If the MSMA could merely agree to just cast rules in stone for 10 years per 10 years!!!.
We are arguably heading into the best 'clash of titans' season ever,regardless of capacity.
Rule changes for 2012 will perhaps make for a bigger grid,in terms of entries,yes.
In terms of a 'cliffhanger season'...No.

I've said this before but Honda has tried to throw "factory bikes" and riders at the title without much effect. That is not to say that this isn't the most talent HRC team in a long time but more isn't always better. It is easy to get lost in the differing directions.

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Or perhaps an item from an Amsterdam coffee house would get Tamada even higher?

Giving Jonny three days is great news. I wasn't aware he is still suffering with his wrist - that's a shame. This is HRC evaluating Rea and seeing how his comments stack up to those of Stoner, Pedrosa et al. Jonny's quick, HRC will get meaningful data from him.

Short of a catastrophe Jonny will be on the MotoGP grid 2012. This is no present as with say Mladin at P.I on a RGV500, this is future preparation.

It shows he entered the bulk of the season in 1993?

As much as it is a try-out, I think it's an effort to keep him happy and on a Honda in Superbikes. I don't think HRC have a desire to develop a rider from outside of GPs. If he's fast, they'll want him. If he's not, they'll think it fortunate for him to stay part of the Honda family in WSBK/Suzuka.

HRC bike looks better and better. Now with Stoner they are ready for the title.

Why not keep it simply. Rea is the best rider they have as far as having no GP mount experience. Theyll get fair testimony and feedback, then he gets to show his teeth and natural capacity to ride the beast. Apparently he is a decent development rider too. Then the guy is fast as s&%t, plus why not milk the test rules out. I would. Good on em and hope the Johnnie does well...

Good for Jonny; the guy is young, fast and smart and Honda realise this. Yes, there's no guarantees attached, but Honda are seeing what he's got in his locker by stacking his times and feedback up with the other RCV riders.

And Makoto Tamada? 5 years ago he might have had a shout, but he sunk without trace a while back after any number of listless GP/WSBK seasons. These days Tamada couldn't develop a cold.