WSB: Team HRC get back on track at Jerez

Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista have been testing at Jerez
Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista have been testing at Jerez

Team HRC duo Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista were able to get some track time this week during a test at Jerez.

Following the cancellation of last week's World Superbike test at the same circuit due to wet weather, Honda returned to Jerez for a second attempt. Things didn't start well, with fog and drizzle in the air yesterday (January 28) morning.

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Fortunately, things dried up and the warmer temperatures in the afternoon allowed Haslam and Bautista to finally head out onto the circuit. The pair took the opportunity to test several updated components and provide the HRC engineers in Japan with some important initial feedback on the new parts.

Today’s wet conditions prevented any further track activity and the team packed up to leave in the early afternoon.

"The weather here has been crazy but honestly, I think this test was very important as we needed to evaluate quite a few things for HRC," Haslam said. "Even though we eventually had just half a day, we were able to complete some laps and give the engineers and team the information they needed, and so now they can continue their work to prepare for the next tests.

"It’s been really good to get back on my CBR, the feeling was good and the new items we’ve tested were very interesting, so now I have even more motivation ahead of my training camp in coming weeks. Hopefully we can test again soon so that we’re well prepared for the start of the season.”

In the brand-new Fireblade's debut campaign Haslam (10th) and Bautista (9th) both finished on 113 points. Haslam’s best result was fourth at the Teruel meeting at Aragon, whilst Bautista secured the bike's maiden podium at Aragon round when he battled to third position.

"We have not been very lucky with the weather, it’s been either rain or a wet track, but we finally made the most of a half day, testing some new items HRC has brought for the upcoming season," Bautista added. "We were able to collate some useful data and gain some references, and at least give the technicians the indications for them to be able to continue their development work.

"So, with that in mind, it’s been an important and very positive test, albeit a short one. Now we have the direction to follow in order to take the next steps at future tests.”

The opening round of the 2021 WSB season is scheduled to take place at Assen over the weekend of April 23-25.

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Josh Close

By Josh Close

Sports Reporter and fan of all things motorsport.