Honda WorldSBK and WorldSSP teams confident after Lausitzring test

The Honda WorldSBK Team has completed at successful two-day private test at the Lausitzring circuit in Germany. The World Superbike duo of Nicky Hayden and Michael van der Mark were joined by World Supersport peer PJ Jacobsen as they reunited with the Dutch-based team ahead of the German round of the World Superbike championship, which takes place at the same venue on September 16-18.

Unlike his team mate, Hayden had never turned a lap at Lausitzring prior to the test, meaning he had to get familiar with the twisty layout of the 4.255 km racetrack before he could turn his full attention to the bike setup. Despite his previous experience at this track on 125cc machinery, Michael van der Mark had to learn his way around the Lausitzring on board the more powerful 1000cc Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP.

With plenty of time available – six 40-minute sessions per day for a total of eight hours of track time – each rider completed more than 190 laps over the course of the two days, while evaluating new settings and components for their bikes.

PJ Jacobsen switched back to the more familiar Honda CBR600RR machine after taking part – like his World Superbike team mates – in this year’s edition of the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race. Jacobsen, who sits third in the WorldSSP championship standings, worked tirelessly with his crew to be ready for what is going to be a crucial race for his 2016 campaign.

Nicky Hayden 69It has been a good couple of days here at Lausitzring. Today we kept making some good progress, although on the second day it’s always a bit more difficult to keep improving. We hit a few walls today but overall I was able to make some steps forward. The team worked really hard and I’m thankful that they came here for this test during the summer break. We needed these two days, especially on a track where we still have to race. It took me some laps to readjust to this version of the Fireblade after riding the endurance one but now we’re ready. Obviously we don’t know where we’ll stack up until we come back here for the race, but I’m sure we’ll find out really quick where we fall in line. Now I look forward to race in Germany.

Michael van der Mark 60The test was really good for us and a very useful one, because it has been a long time since I last came here – 2010 I think. We did a lot of laps – 119 today alone – but we were also able to gather some good information. Today we tried a couple of things that worked out really well and in the end we were able to improve the bike quite a lot. I’m really happy because we were not only fast but also very consistent on the long run; of course there is still room for improvement but we have a really good base to start with, so I cannot wait for the German round to start.

Patrick Jacobsen 2The test went really well; we were able to try new things and managed to improve in each and every session. Given our performance especially on the last day, I think we have found a good set up for the round, so now I cannot wait to get back on track and do my best for a strong result. The track is OK and very unusual for Europe; it reminds me more of an American Indy track circuit! It is a bit bumpy, but I know where now so it won’t be too much of a problem.

Pieter Breddels Technical Manager

It’s been a very good test and we’ve been blessed by good weather on both days. Apart from the usual work on setup and gearing, we tried new brake calipers and added some angle to the chassis settings, which added more stability to the bike. Both Nicky and Michael liked this change. With PJ the main focus was obviously the rear suspension because it has given us a bit of an up and down performance so far in the season. We also worked on the clutch, although that didn’t give us a big improvement in terms of lap times. It was important for PJ to ride the CBR600RR again after Suzuka. We’re now confident and ready for the German round as well as for the final leg of the season.