Rea Refocused for 2014 Season.
February 5, 2014 by Tony Gregory
Jonathan Rea was on media duty last week as the 2014 Pata Honda team, that will contest this season’s FIM World Superbike and World Supersport championships was presented at the Motor Bike Expo exhibition at Verona in Italy.
The team comprises the same rider line-up as in 2013 with Rea and Leon Haslam riding the new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP in the 14-round World Superbike championship, which kicks off at Phillip Island in Australia on 23 February.
Meanwhile, following their rookie seasons in 2013, Dutch rider Michael van der Mark and Italian ace Lorenzo Zanetti will challenge for honours on Honda’s CBR600RR in the World Supersport series, which also starts at Phillip Island next month.
The team presentation took place in front of hundreds of media and motorcycle racing fans on day two of the increasingly popular Motor Bike Expo at Verona. The show took place just 70km from the headquarters and factory of Pata, Italy’s famous snack manufacturer which is title partner of the Pata Honda team for the second year.
Rea commented, “It was quite difficult at times in 2013 and the season ended badly in injury, but my leg feels ok now. It’s not quite 100% and I have some discomfort walking on it, but on the bike it’s fine. This team feels like a family to me now and knowing all the faces and how the team works helps me to get the best out of the package and the people around me. We all share the same goals but it feels like there’s been a change of mentality for this season – everyone is even more focused than usual. By the time we get to Phillip Island we will have tested a lot, and we’re really pushing hard, so I think that if anyone is in good shape to challenge at the front when the season starts, it’ll be me and my team”.
determined riders, I firmly believe that we can compete for race wins this season and even two championships.
Pata’s team manager Ronald ten Kate also commented, “It’s clear that 2013 wasn’t a great year for us – the riders got injured quite heavily but in a way, that allowed us to step back and review the whole situation, looking at the bike and what we would be needing for the coming season. So we’ve had a big development plan and brought in a lot of parts for the bike. The electronics have been upgraded massively over the winter and we’ve got a good testing programme, so I think we can say we’re better prepared than ever before. The new Honda Fireblade SP is good step forward, especially for road riders and those taking it on to the track. We’re already using a lot of that upgraded technology like suspension and brakes, and the engine improvements will be useful, too. We’re pulling out all the stops and with four talented and
Unfortunately Rea’s 2013 season was blighted by injury and at a point in the season when Rea showed that he and his team had begun to dial in a sophisticated new electronics package. While battling with the leading group at Nurburgring, he crashed on oil from another rider’s machine, fracturing his left femur and ending his season. This left Rea 9th in the championship table with one win.