Das Team HRC für die Superbike-WM wurde in Tokio vorgestellt, im Hauptquartier der japanischen Marke, auf der Bühne des sogenannten »Honda Welcome Plaza Aoyama«. Die Werksfahrer Alvaro Bautista und Leon Haslam enthüllten die CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP im finalen Lackkleid; das Bike wird nächste Woche beim Superbike-WM-Auftakt auf Phillip Island (Australien) debütieren.
Das Video zum Event: Einfach draufklicken….
Zur Eröffnung sprachen Noriaki Abe, Honda Managing & Chief Officer sowie Yoshishige Nomura, HRC-Präsident, über das Projekt, mit dem der weltgrößte Hersteller mit einem vollen HRC-Werksteam in die seriennahe Rennserie zurückkehrt. Danach waren Alvaro Bautista und Léon Haslam sowie der neu eingesetzte Teammanager, Jaume Colom, an der Reihe.
Während der gleichen Veranstaltung wurde auch das Satellit MIE Racing Althea Honda Team vorgestellt. Dafür erschienen Fahrer Takumi Takahashi und Teamchefin Midori Moriwaki auf der Bühne. Nach Abschluss der Präsentation fliegen die Team nach Australien. Dort geht am nächsten Wochenende (29.2./1.3.2020) das erste Saison-Event der Superbike-WM auf Phillip Island über die Bühne. Die Stimmen im englischen O-Ton:
Noriaki Abe, Managing & Chief Officer, Motorcycle Operations of Honda Motor Co.: »Racing is an important ingredient of developing Honda products, so it’s not a coincidence that the decision to join again the WorldSBK Championship with a factory team coincides with the launch of the new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. From the beginning this project was designed and developed together with the HRC riders and technicians, and the exchange of information led to the realization of a Super Sport motorcycle “ready to race”. We used many parameters from the MotoGP machine, bore and strokes are the same and by using RC213V technologies and relentless optimization of the engine’s fundamentals, combustion efficiency and friction reduction was achieved. I like to mention also the aerodynamic package – that including the winglets, benefits from lessons learned directly from the MotoGP machine. Although we know it will be a tough challenge, ultimately our factory HRC Team and satellite MIE Racing Althea Honda Team aim to achieve the best possible results. I am confident that our teams in just a few races can fight for the podium”.
Yoshishige Nomura: President Honda Racing Corporation. »HRC has participated at the highest level across all top motorsport categories since 1982. So, we are very proud to challenge again with a full factory team in WorldSBK, and with our new flagship super-sport bike, the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. All the championships in which we participate set particular technical challenges that help our engineers to gain experience and grow. This is why Honda fights in the racing world, and WorldSBK is a great racing arena because we have to develop our road bike while abiding by very strict technical regulations. Our ultimate goal is of course to win, but we know it won’t be easy. We have therefore created a new team of extremely capable technicians, who will be based in Barcelona in the same department as our MotoGP and Dakar teams. Our factory riders Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam are a strong pairing who bring both great experience and speed. The MIE Racing Althea Honda Team will again be present in WorldSBK as a Honda satellite team, with HRC factory rider Takumi Takahashi. Round 1 will take place next weekend in Australia and I wish Team HRC and the MIE Racing Althea Honda Team lots of luck!«
Alvaro Bautista: »I’m very pleased to be part of what is such an important project for Honda and HRC. I see all the work that is going into it and feel very positive energy from everyone at the company and on the team. It’s a very important year for me too. We know that we face a big challenge and that we have a lot of work to do; we’re a new group that is growing together to reach the top as soon as possible. Our goal is to be strong and fast with the Honda, a very competitive bike that can undoubtedly achieve great results. I hope to have fun and entertain all our fans this season.«
Leon Haslam: »It all feels so real now we’re here in Tokyo. We’re at the Honda HQ and the first races are just around the corner; it’s a dream come true. I am extremely excited and also a little nervous, because I really want to do well, and know we have the potential to do that. We’re ready to work hard and do our very best to achieve strong results. As for the first race, we’re at one of my favourite tracks, Phillip Island, where I’ve been successful in the past. We’ll have to see with regards to the competition of course, but I admit I’m really looking forward to the opening round.«