Honda has officially launched its new World Superbike championship team ahead of the 2020 season with help from Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista.

Following a tough series of years in the production-based championship, HRC has taken over the running of the factory Honda entry as it debuts the all-new CBR1000RR-R SP Fireblade this season.

The Japanese manufacturer has also hired two multiple World Superbike race-winners to form its factory squad in Haslam and Bautista.

Haslam has a wealth of experience in WorldSBK with 254 race starts to his name stretching back to his debut in 2003.

Bautista made a stunning debut in the series 12 months ago for Ducati in his move from MotoGP, as he stormed to 11 consecutive wins at the start of 2019 before eventually losing out on the title to Jonathan Rea.

The team has completed both private and collective pre-season tests as it looks to get the new Honda Superbike up to speed ahead of the 2020 season.

The launch, hosted at Honda’s Welcome Plaza Aoyama, was shut to the public due to the current outbreak of the coronavirus with Honda running a live stream of the event.

Honda has also revealed its support team MIE Racing with Takumi Takahashi and a second unconfirmed rider in the line-up, while Dominique Aegerter has been named official Honda test rider for the 2020 World Superbike season.

The 2020 World Superbike season gets underway next week, starting with the official pre-season test at Phillip Island on February 24-25 ahead of the opening round hosted at the Australian circuit on February 28-March 1.

 

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