Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista (HRC Honda) – the only two drivers who finally passed their test in January. A sequel is only planned for March at the Autodromo do Algarve in Portugal (© HRC Honda).

HRC Honda defied the freak weather with Jerez Test

The test result from HRC Honda in Jerez was surprisingly positive. Despite poor weather conditions, the new team led by Leon Camier with Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam carried out their test, which had been postponed by a week at the Circuito de Jerez. Kawasaki had already left earlier when the prognoses had turned out to be less than friendly. In the end, it was two valuable days, as the Honda team finally assured us.

Leon Haslam with one of the HRC technicians and on the right the new team manager Leon Camier, who is now jointly responsible for the further progress of the most surprising team of the previous year (© HRC Honda).

The riders’ opinions after the test

Alvaro Bautista: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. 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.

Alvaro Bautista (HRC Honda) – while BMW stumbled terribly last year, the fast Spaniard drove the brand new Honda Fireblade CBR-1000RR-R sensationally onto the podium in the first year (© HRC Honda).

Leon Haslam: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. 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.

Leon Haslam (HRC Honda) – the experienced and still very fast Honda factory driver appears in our current review of the first WorldSBK years from the 2004 season. Last year he shut up his critics with some remarkable achievements and ended up ahead of drivers like Garrett Gerloff and two BMW works drivers in the final accounts of the World Championship (© HRC Honda).

The further tests until spring

Portimao test: 4th – 5th March
Jerez test: 9th – 10th March (Honda only)
Misano test: 15th – 16th March
Estoril test: 24th – 25th March
Barcelona test: March 31st – 1st April
MotorLand Aragon test: April 12th – 13th

Our photo from January 2019 at the WorldSBK test drives from the imposing main stand of the Autodromo do Algarve – subject to problems with the corona pandemic, the tests should continue here at the beginning of March.

Provisional WorldSBK calendar for 2021

It is an absolutely temporary draft with many unknowns. As was to be foreseen early, there should still be some hurdles to overcome before a realistic plan is in place. In addition to aces, the overseas races are currently at risk. We consider premature speculations to be pointless, because a lot can change at short notice due to the pandemic. Donington is planning to have sidecar races instead of the WorldSSP races and Portugal is currently also one of the wobbly candidates due to entry restrictions.