Rea hoping for repeat of success at Imola

Smokin! Jonathan Rea hopes for another win at Imola, but perhaps he'll be kinder to the tyres than this showing at Donington Park!

IT has been a month since the World Superbike season opener at Australia’s Phillip Island but the riders are back in action this weekend at the Enzo e Dine Ferrari circuit in Imola.
For Honda World Superbike riders Jonathan Rea and Hiroshi Aoyama, the Italian track is important for two different reasons. Rea won at the near 5km circuit in last year’s championships, while Aoyama has never raced at the track, which is situated near Bologna.
It was a spectacular return to the track for Rea when he won race one at Imola last season as he had just returned from a three-month layout due to a wrist injury he picked up at the Misano round. And it was the first time the team had used its ride-by-wire throttle management system on its Honda CBR1000RR Fireblades in race action.
After finishing seventh and fourth in last month’s opening races, Rea will be hoping to get back to podium ways this weekend at Imola to give his 2012 championship a boost.
For Aoyama, Imola represents the first of seven new circuits that the 30-year-old Japanese ace must learn in his debut SBK season. After a steady build-up to qualifying in Australia, Aoyama showed his true racing spirit by taking two solid top-ten finishes after starting from 16th place on the Phillip Island grid.
The Honda World Superbike Team is offering a very special opportunity to Honda race fans for the Imola event by building a special viewing gallery in the pit box. Any owner of a Honda motorcycle or scooter who has paddock access can visit the team’s box and see the riders and technicians at work during practice and qualifying.
Honda owners simply have to show their vehicle registration certificate, either at the garage door or at the ‘Honda In The City’ unit in Imola’s SBK Village, where they will receive a special team wristband to access this unique viewing opportunity.
Weekend schedule (local times)
Friday 30 March
11.45-12.30 Free practice
15.30-16.15 Qualifying 1
Saturday 31 March
09.45-10.30 Qualifying 2
12.30-13.15 Free practice
15.00-15.14 Superpole 1
15.21-15.33 Superpole 2
15.40-15.50 Superpole 3
Sunday 1 April
09.20-09.35 Warm-up
12.00 Race 1 (21 laps 103.656km)
15.30 Race 2 (21 laps 103.656km)