World Superbike

Castrol Honda Playing Catch Up after Troublesome Day

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Castrol Honda riders Jonathan Rea and Ruben Xaus are hoping for a dry warm-up session as they look to fix the problems that have caused them such trouble this weekend.

Rea's problems started on Saturday morning when he injured his left arm in a practice crash. The Briton was in danger of not even making it into the Superpole session and qualified in the top 16 by just 0.007s.

The 24-year-old felt that an electronics issue was the reason for his lack of pace after qualifying 11th and hopes the team can find a solution in tomorrow morning's warm up session.

“It's not been a good day and we were actually quite pleased when the rain came, because it levelled the playing field a little. I only just made it into Superpole in this morning's second qualifying session because we've still got some real issues getting out of the corners here. I'm having to wait much longer than a lot of others to open the throttle, and that just loses us momentum for the faster parts of the track. It seems to be an electronics issue, but I know the guys are working hard to get the best setting we can find. Of course, I'll try my best in the races, but we certainly need to find something for warm-up if it turns out dry again tomorrow.”

Teammate Ruben Xaus was similarly frustrated after a crashed on his first lap of Superpole 1. With the Spaniard's spare bike set up for dry conditions, the team were unable to make the required changes before the end of the session and Xaus will have to start 15th.

Like Rea, the 33 year old is also looking towards the warm up to make some final alterations but was still hopeful of moving forward when the racing starts.

“I am very disappointed that I couldn't continue in Superpole because we made another step today, but that was in the dry. I improved the time again and we were working at making more progress in Superpole. Unfortunately the rain came just at the wrong time for me and I was one of many riders who crashed on the first lap. The settings on my spare bike could not be changed in time and that was it, so I must start from the fourth row. If it is dry again in the morning, we will have something to try in warm-up and then I will of course try to make up some places in the race.”

Team manager Ronald ten Kate was confused at the sudden lack of pace from the CBR1000RR and is calling on the team to pull together to regain the form that took them to victory at Assen earlier this year.

“It's honestly hard to pick any positives out of today's practice and qualifying sessions and, indeed, the weekend so far. It's even more difficult for us to understand how we have ended up in the position we are. Having said that, in the recent past this season we have been competitive and been on the podium so we will dig deep tonight to see if we can regain some of the confidence we enjoyed then. We have some set-up issues to resolve, of course, and we will continue to work together to find the solutions we need.”

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