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|01-26-2015, 08:40 AM||#1|
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Pata Honda unveils 2015 WSBK livery
Pata Hondas 2015 WSBK riders Guintoli and van der Mark unveil new livery in Italy
PATA HONDA'S 2015 World Superbike riders Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark have officially unveiled the team's new livery at Verona in Italy.
Guintoli, the 2014 World Superbike champion, and van der Mark, 2014 Supersport World champion, have tested the new Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machines at Portimao, Portugal and Aragon in Spain.
The Portimao test was struck by rain but both riders were happy with the development of the CBR following work by the team during the off-season to meet revised technical regulations.
'Bringing the number one plate to a new manufacturer is a big deal, really, because it doesn’t happen very often,' said Guintoli.
'It’s symbolic for me, too, because I’ll be going for the title again on a different bike, the Honda CBR. I’ll definitely be wearing the number one with pride this year. But I’m motivated by the challenge and I’ve found a team that also wants it really badly. The bike has changed quite a bit over the winter and we have new regulations.
'The 2015 engine is quite close to last year’s specification and, if anything, is a bit smoother, which is good news for us because, built as standard, it suits the new rules. We’re still working on a few things like weight distribution and geometry but the bike is already quite different to last year.'
Guintoli added: 'I’m very pleased with the work that has been done over the winter. There is still more work to be done, but the team is a big asset; you can feel the power of Honda, and it feels good.'
Van der Mark said: 'I’m in the same team as last year but, after winning the World Supersport title, I had to make another step and, for me, that was World Superbike.
'It’s maybe a little easier for me because I have the same team, but I still have to get used to the bigger CBR and its more sophisticated electronics and find a good set-up. I think the biggest challenge for me and everyone is the new regulations.
'At the moment the bike feels really good but we’ll have to see where it is after the first few races. I have to learn a lot, of course, but I don’t put any pressure on myself – I just want to do my best, make forward steps and see where we can get to. The weather hasn’t been great at the two tests we’ve had this year but my feeling with the CBR is much better than my first outing at Jerez.
'Together with Sylvain, I think we have a great team. He brings a lot of experience as last year’s world champion, but I think we can learn from each other and that’s what we’ve been doing in the tests.'
Guintoli, 32, and van der Mark, 22, will return to Spain this week for a two-day test at Jerez.
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