WorldSBK factory Team HRC was launched today in the prestigious setting of Honda Welcome Plaza Aoyama, the iconic Honda Motor HQ located in the heart of the Japanese capital of Tokyo.
Watched by both the media in attendance and fans connected around the world via live streaming, factory riders Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam unveiled the beautiful livery of the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP that will make its track debut next week, at the opening Superbike World Championship round at Phillip Island (Australia).
Taking to the stage to open the presentation were Managing Officer, Chief Officer, Motorcycle Operations of Honda Motor Co. Noriaki Abe, and President and Representative Director, Honda Racing Corporation Yoshishige Nomura. They spoke about the Honda project with regard to the championship, the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP and the riders with whom Honda returns to the production-derived series with a full HRC factory team after an eighteen-year absence.
It was then the turn of Bautista and Haslam, preceded by Team Manager Jaume Colom, and there was no hiding the riders’ enthusiasm at being part of such a united, determined group and a very exciting project, the pair well aware of the challenge that awaits Team HRC but more than ready to tackle it.
During the same event, the satellite MIE Racing Althea Honda Team was also presented, with factory HRC rider Takumi Takahashi joining Team Principal Midori Moriwaki on stage.
On concluding the presentation, the team now flies to Australia, set to participate in a final two-day test session before taking to the track for the first timed practice session of the inaugural WorldSBK Championship round, the races of which will run on 27 and 28 February at Phillip island.