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Jerez WorldSBK test: Haslam focuses on electronics work

As Honda and HRC have said more than once in 2020, this Covid-19 affected season has been an unexpected and less than ideal one in which to launch an all-new Fireblade, especially as it tried to get into competition with a host of proven winning rider and team packages.

Arguably the biggest problem was trying to combined testing and racing in a short space of time allowed after the championship restarted in very late July, and was all wrapped up by mid-October.

The long lockdown before that prevented a lot of testing and any normal development framework from having big effects on the races themselves. Hence the first day of testing at Jerez was an eagerly anticipated one for Leon Haslam. Having two bikes there was also a bonus.


“We did a lot of laps, mainly just testing the items that we did not have the chance to this year with Covid,” confirmed Haslam.

“Going from race-to-race has been very difficult. We analysed many of the things that we had and I feel, honestly, that we made good steps even with the package that we had this year. This is another big positive.”

Chassis and electronics were the main areas of work for Leon and his team-mate Alvaro Bautista to concentrate on. And there will be more of that.

“We have many things we are looking forward to try and obviously to develop with the bike but right now we know that the package we had this year was not so far,” said Haslam.

But in my opinion we never maximised what we had, with the situation of new circuits, new team, everything, so this test is more about me understanding exactly what we have. And then when we have some new items to come we can be very much more clear in the direction that we can be.”

Haslam says that there has been no lack of effort from the factory itself, the company itself, as he looks to capitalise on that work more next year than during the weird 2020 season.

“To be part of Honda and HRC is fantastic… as a rider you always want things to happen more fast, and to win more fast, but I honestly cannot complain about the effort they are putting in, especially with a new team and a new bike. Already we are not so far. This is a very good feeling; to be part of this project.

"We had some chassis things we tried, many back-to-back, and tried many things with the electronics - mainly items we have already got, just to make sure understand exactly what we have, so we can look to the winter in a better way for information.”

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