WORLD CHAMPION CHARPENTIER RETURNS TO TRACK ACTION
Winston Ten Kate Honda's 2005 World Supersport champion, Sebastien Charpentier, returned to the track for the first time today after breaking his collarbone in a practice crash at Imola last month. The Frenchman was taking part in a two-day Pirelli test at Valencia in Spain but opted not to venture on to the Ricardo Tormo circuit in yesterday's cold and wet conditions.
He has been joined in Valencia by former World Supersport race winner, Jurgen van den Goorbergh, as the pair tested a new engine specification and other components on the Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR, winner of the last four World Supersport championship titles.
Ronald ten Kate -- team manager:
"Because we've had a lot of new Pirellis to test here we haven't spent a lot of time fine-tuning the set-up on Sebastien's machine. We've concentrated more on the new constructions and shapes that Pirelli has brought and I think we can say that the next generation of tyres is definitely an improvement. With our test rider, Jurgen, we've concentrated on putting some kilometres on the latest evolution of the CBR600RR engine. He was happy with our base settings so we just played around with them a little today. Considering he didn't complete a full racing season this year and the fact that the last bike he rode was a Honda RC211V at the Le Mans MotoGP race, he's done a really good job for us here."
Sebastien Charpentier -- best time 1m38.2s:
"The collarbone that I broke in Imola last month is still a little sore -- Valencia is a very physical and technical circuit -- but I feel OK otherwise. I've been back in training for two weeks and I should be fully fit again by Qatar. We tried a lot of new parts and a new riding position today, as well as continuing to develop the new Pirelli tyres. The weather was much better than yesterday so it was important to work hard in as many areas as possible. I'm very happy to be riding the bike again and ready for the 2006 season."
Jurgen van den Goorbergh -- best time 1m40.2s:
"Yes, I've really enjoyed these two days -- as much in the rain yesterday as in the drier conditions today. I felt comfortable on the bike from the start and there has been really good grip from the front and the rear. Even though we got about three hours testing today, it's still a little difficult to get into the rhythm and I felt I was missing the last 10 or 15% needed to do a fast lap. I started making one or two small mistakes as I tried to go faster but that's not surprising with so little time on the bike. I've been really happy with the way the team works, though -- they're a very professional outfit and the rest of the performance is up to me."