Honda has taken the wraps off the 2012 edition of the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, the machine it will run in the World Superbike Championship and the World Endurance Championship next season.
In a specially co-ordinated launch, Honda's top WSBK rider Jonathan Rea and Isle of Man TT legend John McGuinness unveiled the bike at the same time from their respective Imola and Le Mans locations.
Representing the 20th anniversary of the Fireblade, Honda has high hopes that the machine will continue its rich success on the race track having lost some ground to more modern rivals in recent years.
Indeed, Rea, who recently re-signed with Honda for another season, is encouraged by the new model and is looking forward to racing it in 2012.
“This is a stunning-looking new Fireblade,” said Rea, who is debuting Honda's ride-by-wire system this weekend in preparation for 2012. “But it's not just cosmetic changes on this model – there's some clever new technology on the bike, too.
“I'm looking forward to these final three rounds of this year's World Superbike championship, but I can't wait to begin testing for next year on the new machine.”
The CBR1000RR nameplate has enjoyed good success on the WSBK scene since it first made its debut in 2004, winning at least one race every year since with a total of 34 victories. However, though the bike helped James Toseland to the riders' title in 2007, it is yet to deliver Honda a manufacturer's crown.