Oh dear, this is going to cause some worry amongst the Honda WSB riders ahead of their soon-to-begin-testing of the 2020 season – but worrying comments have been made by HRC MotoGP test rider about the new Honda Fireblade.
The mega-power missile has been launched by Honda amid a flurry of official comments about how the bike has been designed to be track fast and focused on getting results in the World Superbike Championship.
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“You can not expect much from this project right at the start of the season, even if HRC is now at full speed behind it. Honda will not race for the podium in 2020 right from the start of the season. That will take some time.”HRC test rider Stefan Bradl
The bike has already been ridden by MotoGP Champ Marc Marquez (largely for the promotion footage and video around the new model) and Stefan Bradl, the MotoGP tester, on October 20 in Suzuka, Japan.
Marquez waxed lyrical about the bike when he rode it on Bridgestone rubber and said how good it will be for the WSB contest to come – but Bradl has now spoken out about what he really thinks of the ‘Superblade’ on the tyres that it will wear in WSB – and the German’s comments ain’t good.
Bradl says that he’s highlighted a major issue for the motorcycle. Speaking to Speedweek.com, the German explained that the single-make Pirelli tyres, that everyone has to use in WSB, are the source of the problems for the Superblade. Bradl said: “If Honda appreciates my input, if it values my help with the Superbike and if there is a need, I’m happy to offer my help.
“The conversion of the all-Japan squad from Bridgestone to Pirelli will take some time. The new bike is not easy to match with the Pirelli tyres.”
HRC test rider Stefan Bradl
“The new bike has potential. But how much is left to do, I have no idea at the moment. HRC now has strong colleagues with the new rider duo, who can do that very well too.
“Takahashi will also be involved. But the SBK racing season is starting again in February. So you can not expect much from this project right at the start of the season, even if HRC is now at full speed behind it.
“Honda will not race for the podium in 2020 right from the start. That will take some time.
“The conversion of the all-Japan squad from Bridgestone to Pirelli will take some time. The new bike is not easy to match with the Pirelli tyres.
“After three laps, the grip ratio changes dramatically. The bike is missing something. You’re a second slower and need different ideas that you need to get up and running fast. “
Later this month it’s the turn of Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam, the duo signed by Honda for the 2020 WSB campaign to begin their testing of the bike ahead of the development of the motorcycle for next year’s racing campaign.