The Hannspree Ten Kate Honda squad began their one and only test of the all new 2008 CBR1000RR this morning (Wednesday) in Almeria before heading to the opening round of the World Superbike Championship in Qatar on 23rd February.
The three man team of Carlos Checa, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Kenan Sofuoglu took to the track as soon as it opened at 9.30am local time to complete initial shake down tests in the first one hour long session.
The team are focusing on basic set-up on day one in an effort to get handlebar, foot peg, brakes and gear lever position correct before getting stuck into to their testing programme. Despite limited time on the bike the initial feed back from all three riders has been positive with reigning World Supersport Champion Sofuoglu being the most pleased with the performance of the new bike.
Speaking exclusively to MCN after his first hour on the new bike he said:
“I am very happy; I think I am already in love with this bike. Compared to last years machine this bike is so much easier to ride and although I still have a lot to learn I know that the potential for me on this bike is very high.
"The difference is big and this bike feels taller, narrower and smaller which makes it feel more like a Supersport bike. The engine is very strong but this also seems more manageable than the previous bike I rode in Qatar at the end of last year. I’ve never ridden a MotoGP bike but this is how I would expect one to feel.”
The team have three more one hour sessions today where they will begin to evaluate a new specification Kenny Roberts swing arm, new engine internals, electronics and clutch set-up.