News 23 Jan 2020
Adapting riding style to Honda engine the focus of Bautista
Spaniard makes first appearance aboard the all-new Fireblade.
Alvaro Bautista says adapting his riding style to the inline-four engine of the all-new 2020 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade will be key in his transition to the Honda, the Spaniard completing a wet day of testing at Jerez in 10th position.
The Honda HRC rider made his first public appearance aboard the highly-anticipated machine on the opening day of the official WorldSBK test, however wet conditions made for a challenging day in the early stages of the bike’s development.
While the data collected in the wet is still valuable, Bautista is still looking to establish a set-up direction in dry conditions.
“We’re starting with no reference – we are writing the book,” Bautista commented. “Basically for me, it’s very different to the bike I used in the past because I’m to the V4 engine, and this an inline-four. I have to adapt my riding style a little bit and understand where the strong point is of this kind of engine. In general, we have to find a good way to work.
“To have days like this is not easy for testing, especially starting with a new bike. With these conditions it’s quite difficult, but I’m happy because the Honda is working really well. In the winter they made a good effort for it to work.
“Today was the first time in wet conditions, so it was important to get some data. For sure, we need to make more kilometres in dry conditions to develop the bike, but basically we’re getting data to start work and start developing.”
Bautista’s teammate Leon Haslam narrowly topped the timesheets, making for a positive day for the factory Honda squad.