Honda has officially launched its new World Superbike championship effort ahead of the 2020 season, revealing the team colours of the factory HRC squad and satellite team MIE Althea.

Following a tough run 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 team will be run from its Barcelona headquarters alongside its MotoGP factory outfit with the squad managed by Jaume Colom, Dani Pedrosa’s 250cc title-winning team chief at Honda, who was on hand to help launch the new bike and livery in Tokyo.

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

Honda has also revealed its support team MIE Althea Racing with Takumi Takahashi.

The team has completed both private and group 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.

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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