The Pata Honda team has announced the introduction of a nepotistic youth policy designed to enhance development and ensure continuity of its world championship racing programme.
On tomorrow’s third and final day of the World Superbike championship test currently taking place at Jerez in Spain, regular riders Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea will hand over their Honda CBR1000RR SP racing machines to their respective young sons.
Despite being less than a year old, Max Haslam and Jake Rea are deemed to have inherited sufficient quantities of the so-called ‘speed gene’ to warrant a full test on the sophisticated production race bikes.
The Pata Honda crew has lowered the ride height on both CBR machines and engaged the services of a goo-ga translator to record feedback from the would-be young racers.
It’ll be interesting to see if young Max has got it. The ‘rocket’ that is, which is coincidentally what me and my dad have on our salad when it’s in season. I reckon he’ll be fast though – he’s got a bit of a weight advantage.
Jake was born a month or two after Max but we’ve been weening him on Manx kippers to build up his strength. He had a wee go on my CRF450R motocrosser on the Isle of Man, so I had to clean up the seat after, but he’ll be right.
With world championship racers seemingly getting younger every year – just like policemen, really – we’ve decided that we need to start investing in youth. Jonathan’s father raced and won a TT and Leon’s dad was pretty handy, too, so it absolutely HAS to be a genetic thing. If it’s not, we’re going to look a bit silly, but the lads will have had some fun.