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Haslam 'going into winter with clear mind' over Honda development

After a first season of development with the all new Honda CBR1000RR-R–SP that was about as difficult as it could be, thanks to Covid-19 and a shorter season than planned, the recent Jerez tests days for Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista were a genuine opportunity to put together the best possible bike from their existing tech they have. They did this rather than try out anything too new at this stage.

Even without lots of bigger development parts to try, that need to find the ideal base set-up made it an intense two-day period for Haslam, who finished up sixth fastest Superbike rider.

“We did a lot over the two days,” he stated afterwards. “We have been analysing everything we have had this year. It has been quite difficult, with the six races going from race to race. There have been a few areas I feel where we did not put it all together, and these two days we have managed to do that.”


The work of analysis and decision-making took precedence over all for Leon. “It was not really about performance, just using the (standard) SC0 tyre we have managed to do some 1’39s. Some other guys did some low 1’39s but that looked like one offs with a soft tyre. We did out best time only on an SCO.”

Haslam confirmed that the 1’39.852 he did as his best lap on the final day was done on a regular race tyre, not even an ‘X’ ten lap oriented race tyre or a full-on qualifying Q tyre.

“I felt a lot more consistent, a lot happier and we have a lot better understanding of a few items,” confirmed Haslam. “We can go into the winter with a clear mind.”

When asked if he thinks the Honda needs some bigger development changes, more radical improvements like whole new swingarms, for example, he said, “To understand what items we need to make that next step, we have to understand what we have got. That is the first thing. I believe this package is very competitive, even when, in my opinion, we have not got it right and together, we have been top five, battling for Alvaro with a podium.

“In my opinion, even if we maximise what we have it is already a big step – as well as a second year with knowledge, not starting from zero, silly things like gearing. Already we have made a step with the exact same bike. If we can understand this bike now, and have some parts for the New Year, it is another step again. In racing it is difficult to make steps and I believe we have lots to come soon.”

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