Pata Honda World Supersport rider Kyle Smith will become reacquainted with his Honda CBR600RR machine this weekend (18-20 September) as it is fired back into action for round 10 of the series at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain.
Like his World Supersport championship rivals, Smith, 23, has had a lay-off of almost seven weeks since round nine at Sepang in Malaysia where he finished in fifth place.
However, the British rider was back on track earlier this week in his role as a mentor for the popular European Junior Cup, powered by Honda. After an even longer summer break, the EJC riders had a test day with their Honda CBR650F machines at Almeria in Spain on Monday.
Although born and bred in Yorkshire in the UK, Smith is based in Spain and will have plenty of support from friends and family this weekend at the 4.423km Jerez circuit where he has previously enjoyed podium success, including in last year’s European Superstock race on a Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP.
It was so good to get back on a bike earlier this week at the EJC test at Almeria. I must have been riding pretty hard, too, because I got blisters on my hands! It was nice to get back in the groove ahead of this weekend because I really like riding at Jerez. It’s been good to me in the past and I’ve enjoyed some success here. The CBR will be pretty much the same as we left it in Sepang, but it felt pretty good then, even though I had quite a lonely race in fifth place. I’ve got a slight change in the team this weekend, too, with a new but very experienced mechanic, so it’s going to feel a bit like starting the season all over again!
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
It’s going to be business as usual this weekend on the World Supersport side of the garage. Kyle’s fifth place in Sepang was a solid result that was needed by the whole team after a couple of DNFs in the previous three races. We know the CBR works well at Jerez as Mikey [van der Mark] showed when he won the World Supersport championship title here last year. We’ll all be working hard to give Kyle a CBR to get back on the Jerez podium once more.