Team HRC has concluded its first testing session in months at the Catalunya-Barcelona circuit in Spain. Following the enforced break owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, official riders Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam were enthusiastic to return to the track and get back to work.
Having not visited a racetrack since the conclusion of the opening Superbike World Championship round at Phillip Island, Australia, in late February, they essentially started from where they last left off. Testing alongside most of the Superbike field, the dry, sunny conditions allowed the team to work on many areas of the bike, continuing its set-up work. At the same time the riders have had the opportunity to regain feeling aboard their bikes and set some fast lap times, day one closing with Alvaro having set the fifth fastest time, Leon placing twelfth.
On day two however, Leon and Alvaro missed the chance to further improve on their lap times as they were forced to spend a few hours in the garage in the early stages of the morning. This meant that at the end of the day they had to settle for twelfth and fourteenth place respectively in the combined classification. The set-up work nevertheless resumed in the early afternoon and carried on until the very end of the session at 6pm local time.
Both riders now look forward to their next track outing, where the team will be joined by Japanese staff who were unable to attend the current session due to some travel restrictions only recently lifted, and the development of their CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP bikes can continue. Team HRC will therefore continue its preparations ahead of round 2 of the WorldSBK championship, scheduled to take place over the weekend of 1-2 August at the Jerez de la Frontera track in Spain.