Jonathan Rea in action at Philip Island

Jonathan Rea in action at Philip Island

Honda's World Superbike team of Jonathan Rea and his new team-mate for this season Hiroshi Aoyama started their preparations for the 2012 season by taking part in a three day test at the Philip Island race circuit in Australia this week.

The team ran the new 2012 SBK specification Honda CBR1000 Fireblade for the first time from the release of the 20th Anniversary version of the legendary machine which was launched in September last year.

The team will start the year with an added boost that, following a year as title sponsor, Castrol will remain as one of the key secondary sponsors until the end of the 2013 season.

The world famous lubricants manufacturer sponsored Honda's World Superbike team as part of a global marketing campaign to re-launch its Power 1 brand in 2011. The continued support of the company extends a commercial and technical partnership between Castrol and Honda which dates back the whole way to 1959 when the Japanese manufacturer first started racing on the world stage.

Robert Watherston, the motorcycle racing manager at Honda Motor Europe said: “We're delighted that Castrol has decided to continue its long-standing association with Honda and, in particular, our World Superbike campaign. We are especially pleased to have signed a two-year agreement, which takes us to the end of the 2013 season.”

Donald Smith, the sponsorship manager in Castrol's Global Marketing Unit commented: “We are pleased to confirm the continuation of our long-standing relationship and support of Honda and motorcycle racing. World Superbikes is the ideal proving ground for the development of our advanced range of Castrol Power 1 lubricants and we look forward to the future of our continued relationship with Honda.”