Alvaro Bautista’s first official day on the new Honda might have been stalled by wet and windy conditions but the Spaniard is already clear he will have to adapt his riding style to suit the new CBR1000RR-R.

The Spanish rider was limited to only 15 laps at Jerez on the opening day, held back by a small fall at Turn 6 in the morning, and conceded it remains too early to give definitive impressions on the all-new Honda Superbike.

But jumping from Ducati’s V4 R Panigale to the inline-4 engine with the Honda, Bautista acknowledges he will need to quickly adjust his riding style to match the strengths of the different engine configuration.

“For sure, days like this aren’t easy for testing especially in the phase we’re in now starting with the new bike so we need to develop and these conditions are difficult,” Bautista said. “I am quite happy because Honda is working really well, in the winter they made a good effort to work and today was the first day in the wet conditions so it was important to get some data.

“We need to get more kilometres in dry conditions to develop the bike but basically we are getting data to start the work and developing.

“It is difficult to say because we start with no reference. For me, it is very different comparing with the bike I used in the past because I used the V4 engine and this is inline four so I need to adapt my riding style a bit and understand the strong points of this kind of engine but in general we have to find a good place to find a good way to work.

“We are basically at the start of this project, but the only thing I felt is the type of engine is the V4 and the inline four is different. We are pushing hard to find a way to our best performance as soon as possible.”

Bautista ended the day with a best lap of 1m 54.824s as teammate Leon Haslam topped the times in the wet conditions with a 1m 52.149s. The Jerez test concludes today.

The former MotoGP rider has made the move from Ducati to Honda this winter to head HRC’s new Superbike project alongside Haslam.



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