Nicky Hayden is hoping to find answers within the banks of data logged by his Ten Kate Honda squad after struggling to find solutions to edge grip and power delivery issues with the new Fireblade CBR1000RR SP2.
The former MotoGP world champion has enjoyed back-to-back two-day pre-season tests with the new Honda at Jerez and Portimao and despite a positive review of the bike Hayden has been left searching for set-up solutions after being unable to find a confident direction with the development of the new bike.
Despite his frustrations, Hayden was pleased with the trouble-free running at both tests – recovering from a knee injury sustained during the winter while avoiding any technical hiccups with the new Honda – and hopes his Dutch squad can use the healthy amount of data to find resolutions to his edge grip and power problems.
“It was definitely not the easiest test, but it surely helped the team to collect a lot of data,” Hayden said. “Speaking of the work with the bike, the power is still not delivered quite smoothly enough so it wasn't easy to find the grip and keep the bike calm under acceleration.
“We were unable to improve every area in quite the way we wanted but with the team's work during these days we hope to be more competitive in Phillip Island, because there's still a gap to bridge from the front runners.”
After receiving delivery of the new Honda Fireblade just a few weeks before the opening 2017 tests it is believed a number of 2016 parts are being trialled and compared on the new bike as the Dutch team aims to develop it into a world title contender.
Honda's last World Superbike champioship came in 2007 when James Toseland claimed the riders' crown with Ten Kate Honda by just two points from Yamaha's Noriyuki Haga.