With the one and only Official WorldSBK test beginning tomorrow, Alvaro Bautista, Leon Haslam and new Team Manager Leon Camier have unveiled the new CBR1000RR-R Honda Fireblade. 

Bautista and Haslam both return for their second year with the team, while Camier is in his first role as team manager following eleven years racing in the WorldSBK class. 

HRC returned to a full factory setup in WorldSBK for the 2020 season after previously being the Red Bull Honda team.  

With what was a completely new bike, Honda showed glimpses of potential with both Bautista and Haslam, but only managed the one podium. 

However, the team now go into their second full season in the championship with further development made to the Fireblade and the experience of Camier behind it. 

Speaking at the team launch Haslam said: "It’s been a tough winter and I’ve had to delay my training schedule to some extent, but I’ve kept very busy in recent months, spending time in Barcelona where I’ve been doing some flat track, minibike, trials and endurance riding. 

"I honestly feel the strongest and fittest I’ve been and now I’m keen to get back on my CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE. 

"Last year was a big learning curve, with a new team, a new bike, and then a very short and intense season. 

"But now, in our second year, we’ll have a lot more data available to us, so I hope we can start each weekend with a better base. That, combined with the continuing development of the bike, can help us take several steps forward.

"Everyone has been working so hard over the winter and I honestly can’t wait to get started. I think we can really start challenging this season."

Former MotoGP rider Bautista made the change from Ducati at the end of 2019, where he had his most successful season in his career taking 16 wins. 

Prior to his move to WorldSBK, Bautista competed with Ducati in MotoGP, which meant a change from the V4 to the inline four. 

Like Haslam, it has been an extended off-season, which Bautista highlighted when talking about the new campaign and the potential of the bike. 

"We’ve had a prolonged off-season of course, and that’s been a little strange, but I’ve done a lot of physical training and was also very busy at home because I became a father for the second time," Said Bautista. 

"I’m definitely looking forward to getting back to racing now, and I’m pleased with the bike. There are no big changes but a series of small evolutions that should give us a better base setup. 

"We’ve worked across many areas, particularly the electronics, and have focused on finding better rear grip. We’ll now use the upcoming tests to put everything together and try to have a better-balanced bike. 

"It was hard to take any big steps last year due to the pandemic, but we were still able to score some strong results and podiums. 

"We now have a year of experience behind us, and so if this season is more ‘normal’, I think we can fight for better results and hopefully race wins. I cannot wait to get started."

 

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