News 21 Feb 2020
Factory Honda WorldSBK entry uncovered for 2020 campaign
Striking new HRC CBR1000RR-R race bike of Haslam and Bautista launched.
The brand new Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) team of Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista has been launched ahead of the 2020 Motul Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK), introducing the all-new CBR1000RR-R.
Officially back in WorldSBK with the experienced pairing for the first time in near two decades, Honda’s striking new Fireblade will debut at Phillip Island’s opening round next weekend.
“I am happy to be a part of Honda once again and HRC,” commented Team HRC manager Jaume Colom. “I would like to thank them for this project. It is a new team with a new machine and we know that at the beginning is not easy.
“Our clear target is to bring the bike to the top positions in the new future. This is a new challenge for Honda, the riders and the team and we will fight with our passion, motivation and courage.”
Haslam added:“To be a part of this project is a dream come true. To be here in Tokyo, the effort HRC are putting in with the brand new Fireblade, I’ve been smiling from the very first laps I did and I cannot wait to start in Australia next week.”
Bautista said: “For sure, this is a very special moment for me. It will be a really good project and we are looking forward to starting the season. It will be difficult as we have to develop the new bike, but I am sure that together with Honda we can reach our target – that is to win.”
The MIE Racing Althea Honda Team were also launched at the event, with Japanese rider Takumi Takahashi on stage, while their second rider was confirmed as talented Spaniard Jordi Torres.
Honda’s most recent win came with the late Nicky Hayden at Sepang in 2016. The brand’s last title came with Britain’s James Toseland back in 2007, but as a factory team, there’s been no success since 2002 and Colin Edwards’ historic second WorldSBK crown at Imola.