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Bautista looking forward to 'many parts' at Aragon WorldSBK test

Honda’s return to WorldSBK as an official HRC team began last year, in one form or another but this year, with a whole new Fireblade and two riders of the experience of Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam, great things could be expected.

And will surely come, but right now the entire project still seems to be in the early stages, with a lot of work to do starting at Motorland Aragon today.

Like all others, the effort was not helped by the Covid-19 outbreak that shut down racing for a months, but even then it was a tough test for Honda all round.


Mystifyingly to all those outside the HRC camp, neither Haslam nor Bautista were allowed to venture out to try and set a lap on the final morning of the test, not until a video conference back to Japan had been concluded on how to best proceed after the first day of action.

At the end of a test at an old MotoGP track he knows well, Bautista said of the hiatus in the final morning track action, before he lapped again in the afternoon, “HRC engineers are not here so they needed time to analyse the data from yesterday, and there were some issues that they had to fix.

"Until they give us the OK, we did not ride the bike. In the morning we just waited on the OK from Japan. It is HRC, you know, it is working like this. They resolved some items and it was productive out of the track, not inside the track.”

Not elaborating on what the problems were, and pointing towards the HRC engineers who were not at Barcelona to ask, Bautista said that it was an unexpected problem. “I think they did not expect this analysis and for that reason they needed more time.

HRC engineers are very serious and until they are 100 per cent convinced that it is OK – and maybe because they are not here – maybe if they are here they would say ‘OK, you can exit’. They look at it a different way from here.”

Asked about losing four hours in the morning session, Bautista said, “In the morning it was much better and our plan was to use some qualifying tyres in the morning, to make a good lap time, but at the end we could not do. It is only a test; for the race I hope we do not have this kind of problem.

"Fortunately we have another test in Aragon next week and there are some HRC engineers coming. They will bring many items to try, to develop the bike. I am so confident in that test and I will see how much we can improve or not, or if our level in Jerez will be better or not than Australia.”

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