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VIDEO PREVIEW: Honda riders speak on coming weekend, as Honda-powered RAF Reserves Racing aim to win Superstock 1000 Championship

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Published: 28 February 2013
SUNDAY marks the start of this season's World Superbike Championship, with Honda revealing a preview of Round 1 in Australia.

From the Phillip Island circuit, Pata Team Honda's Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam spoke on their expectations for the upcoming race, after their a spectacular pre-season test.



"This is a really exciting moment," said Rea. "I think the bikes and the leathers look great and we know that there are some exciting developments for the CBR for this season, so I can't wait for it to start."

Jonathan Rea
Meanwhile, Honda today announced they will commit to supporting the Royal Air Force Reserves Racing project for 2013 - officially known as RAF Reserves Racing, who will compete in the British Superstock 1000 Championship, selected road races including the Isle of Man TT and the Northwest 200.

With a Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, which was shown at the recent London Motorcycle Show, the team hopes to bounce back from a disastrous 2012 by drafting in professional motorcycle rider and TT legend Simon Andrews in an attempt to win the championship.

Jonathan Rea
With experience in the British Superbike Championship, claiming five podiums and two race wins, Simon said: "The project appealed to me from the outset and I was very interested to be a part of it, being the rider who carries the responsibility of a recruiting campaign is pretty exciting.

"I am looking forward to working with the RAF Reserves race team this season and it will provide me with an excellent opportunity to keep sharp throughout the season, in between racing duties with the Honda TT Legends and the road racing calendar.

Jonathan Rea
"The Superstock 1000 Championship is very competitive but I have my sights set on winning it! After initial meetings with the team I could see that they were very professional and driven towards achieving success and that's something I share. I think together we will make a good team, who knows, they may even get me signing up to the RAF Reserves at this rate, keep me sharp in the off-season!"

Lee Hardy, team manager for the RAF Reserves Racing, wants to take racing in the Superstock 1000 Championship to the next level. He said: "We are delighted to be continuing our relationship with both Honda and the RAF Reserves. We are currently looking to take the team to the next level. Last season was tough for us but it was invaluable experience and we learnt a lot, which we will be applying to our racing this year.

"With Simon Andrews now on board, we feel we have a rider who is capable of winning races and championships and we aim to provide him with the tools to do just that! The whole racing project is a valuable recruitment tool, the RAF Reserves are in the middle of a major recruiting campaign and my aim is to not only raise awareness but to ultimately try to achieve their recruiting targets."
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