Factory Honda World Superbike rider Jonathan Rea is confident the team has arrived at a solid base setting for the new 2012 Fireblade after completing a three-day test at Philip Island.
Rea and new team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama tested a host of chassis and suspension components, making the most of the warm, dry weather at Phillip Island as they step up their preparations for the opening round of the series next month.
Both riders also continued the development of the electronic ride-by-wire throttle system introduced in the second half of last season.
"We've had a good three days, completed a lot of laps and tested a whole heap of new parts,” said Rea. “We've also done quite a few long runs and race simulations which, to be honest, was really good – for the simulation we did today, we even used the lights.
“The full race-run allows us to see exactly where we are, even though the disadvantage of testing on your own is that you've got no-one to measure yourself against.
“But the whole team is working really well and I'm really enjoying riding the bike again,” he added. “Step-by-step we're making things better and, although when you test this many parts you can end up going round in circles, I think we've got a bike with a good base setting to go into the 2012 season with.”
This season marks the 20th anniversary of Honda's iconic Fireblade and the mighty Japanese manufacturer would love nothing more than to mark the milestone by lifting the World Superbike crown.
Rea's challenge faltered last season when he suffered a complex wrist injury but he is now back to full fitness and with former 250cc world champion and ex-MotoGP rider Aoyama also in the team, the Ten Kate Racing outfit will expect to launch a major bid for honours this year.
No official lap times were released by the team at the test. Both Rea and Aoyama will return to Phillip Island for the official two-day test on February 20-21 before the first round at the same venue on February 26.