Team HRC has completed an important two-day test at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Spain with its official riders Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam.

The testing session got underway on Wednesday morning, although all teams in attendance were significantly hindered by wet weather as they started to make inroads into their intense work programmes. During this, their first 2020 outing aboard the new CBR1000RR-R, the HRC riders largely focused on set-up work together with their technicians. By the end of the first wet day, Leon Haslam had set the fastest time, a 1’52.149, with Alvaro Bautista lying tenth with his 1’54.824.

On Thursday the weather offered some almost dry track-time that allowed for the use of slick tyres, despite air temperatures never rising above 14° C and some damp patches remaining around the track. Both riders continued their set-up work across all areas of the bike. Rain started again around 16:00, putting a premature end to the testing session. On this second day, Leon and Alvaro set the 6th (in 1’42.797) and 8th (1’43.579) fastest lap times respectively.

The Team HRC will now travel to Portugal where they will take part in a second two-day test at the Algarve International Circuit on Sunday 26 and Monday 27 January.

Team HRC completes a two-day test at Jerez in mixed conditions

Leon Haslam 91

Tricky weather conditions of course but every time we made an exit, we were testing something different, getting through the list of things we wanted to try. Our priority is to get through the many items we need to test, so we need dry conditions for a lot of that, but it didn’t hurt to complete some laps in the wet on Wednesday. Today the track was never fully dry, but all in all we did what we needed to do. We put together something we wanted to try at the end of the day but then it started to rain again so we’ll keep working on that in Portimão. Hopefully we will have some better weather conditions there. It’s exciting to have a competitive team-mate like Alvaro, it looks like we both have a similar understanding of the bike. Having the backing of Honda and HRC is so important; it’s a new bike and so a lot of development goes into that. The team also really wants to succeed, and that confidence really inspires me to do my best.

Team HRC completes a two-day test at Jerez in mixed conditions

Alvaro Bautista 19

Wet, mixed testing days like this are never easy, especially for us with a brand-new bike as we have development to do. We need more mileage in the dry obviously, but we have been able to collect some useful data at least. We start with no references so time will tell where exactly we need to focus our efforts on the bike. I am working to adapt my riding style, having ridden different machines in the recent past. Today the conditions were a bit better than yesterday, albeit not completely dry, and we had the chance to use the slick tyres. My impressions were good, I think we have a lot of potential and that we need to work to fine tune everything. Basically, the initial goal in this early phase of the project is to push hard with the set-up so that we can perform at the top level as soon as possible.