Team HRC is taking part in an official two-day test session at the Australian circuit of Phillip Island, just a few days prior to the 2020 Superbike World Championship season-opener, set to play out at the same track this coming weekend.

Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam headed out on track at 11.10am local time, keen to maximise the time available in order to effectively prepare for the all-important first championship round. Working closely with their respective technicians, both riders strived to build feeling with their CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP machines as they continue to develop and test the numerous elements making up this brand-new project.

Weather conditions remained favourable during the morning’s two-hour session though riders lost almost an hour of the subsequent session due to rain. Completing 21 laps throughout the day, Haslam set a best of 1’31.196 towards the end of the afternoon to finish fifth, while Bautista placed fifteenth with a time of 1’32.541, also recorded during the afternoon, having made a total of 26 laps of the track.

Team HRC will be back on track tomorrow for the second and final day of testing.

Leon Haslam

Leon Haslam 91

To be honest, we were looking for more track time, but a red flag and rain meant we weren’t able to put in many fast laps. Luckily, we got the last 40 minutes or so this afternoon, and the lap times were not so bad. We’re quite consistent but there’s still a lot of work to be done. At this point, we also need to look ahead to the race weekend and work with that in mind, planning accordingly. With it being a new bike, and not having any references from last season, we need to be focused in our approach as we can’t do everything in a single test. A lot of my strengths suit this kind of track, so I’m confident in that regard, but right now the important thing is to develop, testing everything we have and starting to make some decisions. So, we’re trying to be methodical in our work during this test rather than focus on setting fast laps.

Team HRC
Alvaro Bautista

Alvaro Bautista 19

Today we were able to test some new items that the HRC engineers brought us. We are moving in the direction I requested, though we’re not quite there yet. Essentially, we are working to find a set-up that allows me to get better feedback from the bike and the tyres. We have actually improved front feeling to some extent, but not enough yet, and having good feedback from the tyres is particularly important at this track. Considering that this is still a brand-new project, I think it will be challenging for us this coming weekend, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time and we will get there if we continue to put in the work.

Team HRC