• Welcome to the new B.I.R.D. Forum. Please be sure to read the "New Member / New Registered ? Please Read" thread in the Coffee Shop. This contains some important information. To become a full member ( £5.50 a year ) simply click on your user name near the top on the right I hope you enjoy the new site ................ Jaws ( John )

WSBK news

KUCIAR666

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The Althea BMW Racing Team opens the 2016 season with two days of testing at Vallelunga



The Althea BMW Racing Team has concluded two days of testing at Vallelunga, where the team had previously tested in December in more favourable conditions. With air and track temperatures of around 10?C, the squad was only really able to make the most of the track in the middle part of the day.

The two SBK riders Markus Reiterberger and Jordi Torres were able to complete their respective work programmes, but these two days were also useful in bringing the whole team closer together. Raffaele de Rosa was back on board his BMW S1000 RR Stock after the winter break. Also on hand in the Althea BMW garage was the General Technical Manager of BMW Motorrad Motorsport, Berti Hauser.

German rider Markus Reiterberger?s work schedule focused on the testing of the new 2016 fork ? brand new ? and the 2016 electronics that he already used in the previous testing, testing the package over a total of 68 laps. Jordi Torres meanwhile worked on new electronics solutions for his BMW S 1000 RR (completing 83 laps), while Raffaele de Rosa worked to improve feeling and geometry, making 100 laps of the track.

Martin Reiterberger
?Today was a great day for me, particularly with the sun as yesterday was really cold and in those conditions we couldn?t make the most of our time or complete all of the necessary tests. Today was very different because we tested everything right to the end. We tested new components relating to the brakes, electronics, gearing and with respect to the previous Vallelunga tests in December we?ve taken a big step forward. The feeling is good, but the times are also good. I?m really happy with the atmosphere in the team too, another element that is working well ? we?re becoming one big family.?

Jordi Torres

?These two days have been black and white, a bit like the team?s colours, because I still need to learn how to rider and what the bike is asking of me. I need to change my riding style and I need time to learn the direction to take. Yesterday I didn?t have confidence, there was small movement on entering, taking and exiting turns that was bothering me and prevented me from trusting and particularly from translating the information that the bike was giving me. It was a bit like riding with my eyes closed. But all of this has taught us a lot and was important for today, which went a lot better right from the outset. We concentrated on developing the electronics and the engine and I was able to interpret the info that that bike was giving me and so I?m happy about that. We made the most of our time, 100%, in order to move in the right direction. From now on we will also work on lap times but for now I can go home pleased.?


Raffaele De Rosa

?These two days have been black and white, a bit like the team?s colours, because I still need to learn how to rider and what the bike is asking of me. I need to change my riding style and I need time to learn the direction to take. Yesterday I didn?t have confidence, there was small movement on entering, taking and exiting turns that was bothering me and prevented me from trusting and particularly from translating the information that the bike was giving me. It was a bit like riding with my eyes closed. But all of this has taught us a lot and was important for today, which went a lot better right from the outset. We concentrated on developing the electronics and the engine and I was able to interpret the info that that bike was giving me and so I?m happy about that. We made the most of our time, 100%, in order to move in the right direction. From now on we will also work on lap times but for now I can go home pleased.?

GENESIO BEVILACQUA
General Manager


?These two test days at Vallelunga have allowed us to further test some important technical solutions. Although the very cold conditions did not facilitate proceedings, I was able to verify what we were looking for, which is the best possible feeling between rider and bike. I remind you that, with the exception of Reiterberger, our other two riders Torres and De Rosa are only riding their BMW bikes for the third time in these configurations. Today, in more favourable conditions, we were finally able, after a great deal of set-up work, to complete some fast laps. We naturally have many references, but I would say that the 1?36.0 completed by Markus is a very respectable time, which augers well. Jordi is a few tenths behind but he of course needs a little more time to get to grips with the new bike. In the Stock, De Rosa, having stated that he immediately had good feeling with his bike, completed a series of fast laps with an overall best in the low 1?37s. I?m personally very pleased with the work completed by both the technicians and riders, and we?ll head to Australia a little more optimistically.?
 

KUCIAR666

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WorldSBK Kawasaki Racing Team Launch

Only two weeks ahead of the first round of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship season the official Kawasaki Racing Team will unveil the all-new WorldSBK specification Ninja ZX-10R on the evening of 11 February.

With a whole new showroom model for KRT to base its race efforts around this year, in what is the most prestigious production-derived championship in the world, the anticipation of seeing the final livery and technical specification of the class-leading KRT Ninja ZX-10R has never been higher. The first public look at the new colour scheme of the machine is always a high point of the presentation, with the 2016 graphics package including prominent logos from top partners Motocard, Elf Total and Monster Energy.

Add in the fact that both KRT riders have achieved World Championship status using the previous incarnation of the Ninja family ? Tom Sykes in 2013 and Jonathan Rea last year ? and the attention of the racing world is sure to be focused on the launch, which will take place at 20.00 CET on Thursday evening, in Barcelona.

Jonathan Rea, the reigning world champion, stated: ?It is great that the team organise such an event to officially launch the 2016 racing program. I was involved in a pre-event photo shoot last week, after the Motorland Aragon test sessions. The new bike looks great and it is quite different to last year. I think everybody will be really impressed with it. The launch is well organised and it shows that it is done by a factory team. I believe there will be Dorna representatives, TV representatives plus other media there on the night, which is really cool.?

Tom Sykes, stated: ?I am really looking forward to the launch now, and it is always a great event. Doing it in Barcelona is a good way to go about it. We have had some fantastic form in winter testing on the new bike. We have shown great speed and it has come without pushing, so I am happy. It is fitting to do the launch at this point, as we are ready for the start of the season now. Everything is in place so I am really excited and motivated.?

Attendance at the launch itself will be by invitation only but it will also be live streamed, following the links outlined below.

youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRzD1hUqs10&feature=youtu.be

microsite: http://kawasakiracingteamworldsbk.com/
 

KUCIAR666

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Kawasaki Racing Team Launched In Barcelona

KHI’s official 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship entry, Kawasaki Racing Team, unveiled its machinery and full package of partners and sponsors to a waiting world at the prestigious Esfèric facility in Barcelona today, 11 February.

Striking colours and graphics on the all-new 2016 Ninja ZX-10R were unveiled by KRT riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes, with Motocard, Elf Total and Monster Energy logos on prominent display on the sides of the new machine.

The event included a retrospective of the recent challenges and successes that have shaped the double championship winning team in the 2015 season, as well as presenting the awesome new Ninja ZX-10R in its final WorldSBK form.

A busy evening included interviews with riders Jonathan Rea (champion in 2015) and Tom Sykes (champion in 2013), videos featuring key moments in Kawasaki’s racing history and speeches from the assembled dignitaries.

The launch was attended by all forms of media representatives and was also shown as a live webcast for those who could not be in attendance in person.

Thursday evening’s event attracted a lot of well-timed public and media attention for the reigning Riders and Manufacturers’ champions, given that the season itself gets underway shortly at Phillip Island in Australia, between 26 and 28 February.

Jonathan Rea, the 2015 world champion, stated: “Of course I feel the pressure because we made an incredible season last year. I went away after the final round, I had some weeks at home, and then there was the birth of our new baby boy. That gave me some weeks to relax. I needed to find some more deep, extra, motivation to come back and not aim for top three again but defend my position as world champion. I started my pre-season preparations earlier than in 2014 or 2015 and I am already in good shape. We have our hands on a new ZX-10R, which I am really excited about. The best way to approach our season is the same step-by-step way as we did in 2015. I am excited to start the season and we do not have to wait too long. I am excited to start, excited to race and to try and defend my championship with the best support in the world.”

Tom Sykes, the 2013 world champion, stated: “I am very excited and motivated. Last year was a setback for me and the guys around me. Having said that, I am very blessed because I have certainly got the best people around me. Come rain or shine, and even on the difficult days, the guys patted me on the back. They know I give 100%. Likewise they always give their best. If you had a difficult season and still finished third in the championship it is also not so bad. Kawasaki has given me another fantastic tool; the new 2016 Ninja ZX-10R is absolutely fantastic. It is a bike I am very familiar with. It is a bike that feels almost replicated from our 2012, 2013 and 2014 development. The first laps were very exciting and from there on it just got better. Things have come easier for me and the lap times are already impressive and there is still work to be done. I definitely feel that with big help from the people around me, Kawasaki and all our technical sponsors we have the best chance and best package on the grid. Given the form we have had in recent testing this pre-season I cannot wait for it to begin.”

Mr Shigemi Tanaka, Kawasaki Motors Europe director, stated: “It is an honour to be with KRT once more and joining the chance to share the optimism that only a team launch can create. Here in the home of KRT we have a chance tonight to reflect on past glories and look ahead in anticipation of strong results in the coming season. At KME we are proud of the strong connection we have with KRT and the association between us is apparent on many levels. Many of you know that the new Ninja ZX-10R was developed in partnership with KRT and the factory in Akashi, Japan. There will also be some of you who are aware that our KRT riders and both crew chiefs, plus the technicians, attended the recent launch of our new Ninja at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. The theme of that launch was ‘Get Closer’ and today I hope that you have a chance to get closer to KRT and our valued riders, Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, who between them they have achieved two world title in the past three years, relying on the support of the whole KRT team valued sponsors and of course the Kawasaki family.”

Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: “Remembering our first contacts with Kawasaki in 2008 with Steve Guttridge, Pere Riba, Mr. Tamura-San, Mr. Honda-San. We where put in charge of Kawasaki Supersport effort. There was three years of hard work before moving to WorldSBK in 2012. And now we are here, in Barcelona, the city chosen by Kawasaki to unveil the new production Ninja ZX-10R as a way to close ties with the work done at the races with the KRT, which is also based in Barcelona. So, that’s why we want to say thank you for all the confidence and support received from Kawasaki to keep running the KRT project and also to all Japanese engineers that today cannot be here; they are also the soul of this adventure.”

Martin Lambert, Communications and PR Manager of Kawasaki Europe, stated: “For Kawasaki, 2016 is a very important year. The new Ninja ZX-10R it’s the result of what we have learnt from our experience during the recent years in the World Superbikes series; a collaboration between the Kawasaki Racing Team and KHI. Our two World Superbike Championships reflect the Ninjas’ spirit and we want to share this philosophy and performance all around the world.”
 

KUCIAR666

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Lights, Camera, WorldSBK YZF-R1 in action

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team welcomes you behind the scenes for a fast-paced, all-action view of the new World Superbike-spec YZF-R1.

Filmed on location at southern Spain's Circuito de Jerez last month, Alex Lowes and Sylvain Guintoli took to the track to show what their new race machines were capable of. Glistening in their 2016 livery, the YZF-R1's shone under the Andaluc?an blue skies as their engines echoed across the otherwise empty circuit.

Check out the action and hear what Lowes, Guintoli and Team Principal Paul Denning think of the upcoming 2016 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship with the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Video Here.
 

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A new season begins for Honda in the FIM Superbike World Championship



Honda is ready to tackle the 2016 edition of the World Superbike and Supersport championships, which are set to start tomorrow (Friday 25 February) as the opening round at Phillip Island in Australia gets underway.

This will be the first of 14 rounds across the globe, spread from February to October, which will see Honda?s standard bearers fighting for top honours aboard their production-based race bikes sporting the company?s famous white, red and blue livery.

American Nicky Hayden and Michael van der Mark from the Netherlands will race the 2016 version of the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP in the Superbike category. The WorldSBK specification of Honda?s iconic superbike has received several upgrades through the winter, ranging from new engine characteristics to revised suspension and electronics.

Two former world champions with unquestioned talent and speed, Nicky and Michael will be joined by PJ Jacobsen, who last year claimed the runner-up spot in the World Supersport championship. The 22-year-old American will return aboard the Honda CBR600RR, with the goal of becoming the rider to claim the tenth world title in the middleweight class with Honda and Dutch-based tuning company Ten Kate Racing.

Honda and Ten Kate will partner together once again to continue what has been so far an extremely successful journey, with ten world rider titles and ten manufacturer titles over both classes claimed in the past 14 years.


Nicky Hayden 69

The next stage of my career in World Superbike is about to begin. I must say I?m very happy to be here and for this opportunity to race with Ten Kate and Honda, which allows me to continue doing what I love at the highest level. I feel I can still be competitive and I?m here to prove it. I appreciate all the support from the fans and I am really looking forward to get started. I?m sure it?s going to be a great season for all of us!

Michael van der Mark 60

I?m really happy to be racing with Ten Kate and Honda once again; it?s my fourth year with the squad so I can say it?s like a family for me and I think we can have another great season together. This my second year in WorldSBK will be very important for me and the start is just around the corner, so it?s time to go out there and fight for the best result at every race.


Patrick Jacobsen 99

I?m very excited to take on my third year in World Supersport and to do so with Honda and Ten Kate. I love the Honda CBR600RR and I feel we?re in a position to battle for top honours. This is the ideal situation for me as I know everyone already and I feel at home with the team. I?ve been dreaming of this since I was a little kid and I can?t wait to get out there!

Ronald ten Kate
Pata Honda team manager


The time to go racing has arrived once again and we feel very motivated entering the 2016 season. We are ready and we reckon we have the right team, riders and bikes to do well. Michael and PJ will be out there to confirm themselves at the front of the field and I?m sure Nicky will be a force to be reckoned within the WorldSBK paddock, after all the success he?s had throughout his racing career so far. New teams and riders have arrived and changes have been made to rules and schedules, but all that doesn?t affect our approach to racing and our desire to win.


Marco Chini

Honda's WorldSBK Operations Manager


Honda is once again fully behind the World Superbike effort and believes in the great importance of the series for the company. We have three supremely talented riders, an extremely professional team and some loyal and enthusiastic partners and sponsors on our side. The Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP and the CBR600RR have been further improved throughout the winter and I?m sure the riders will get the best out of them. It?s going to be an exciting year for all of us, for the fans coming to the races and the ones watching from home.
 

KUCIAR666

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WorldSBK Team Talks - Five minutes with Sylvain Guintoli's Crew Chief Lez Pearson


Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Crew Chief Lez Pearson's well-established career spans national and international championships, having worked in BSB, 500cc GP and WorldSBK over the past 20 years. A consistent member of the Crescent Racing squad for the past decade, 2016 sees Pearson partner Sylvain Guintoli as Yamaha returns the YZF-R1 back to the top flight of production motorcycle competition. Yamaha Racing caught up with Pearson on his return home from Phillip Island's opening round of the season to discuss the new focus this year.

Lez, this is your fifth season in the FIM Superbike World Championship. Having yourself moved up from the British Superbike Championship, can you explain the main differences needed to adapt the YZF-R1 from its national title-winning production-spec base, to those required to challenge competitively on the world stage?


"The tracks are totally different and generally a lot faster in the world championship compared to the ones in the UK, also the competition is much stronger and deeper so the bikes have to perform at a higher level just to achieve the same results respectively. There is, generally, more budget in WorldSBK so your bikes are built to a higher spec and with the involvement of the Factory-run teams basically everything has to be at a far higher level to compete consistently and remain with the front group at every round."

Phillip Island saw the return of Yamaha to the WorldSBK paddock with the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team. What are your overall reflections on the opening weekend, with the bike, team and Sylvain's performance? What positives can you take from such a promising first event, and what are you looking to further develop as the season progresses?

"The first event was very positive for us, especially as the bike is still at such an early stage of development. In terms of outright performance we must continue to improve compared to the competition, but as a new project we have only had four tests compared to the years of experience all the other teams have with their respective machines! That being said, the YZF-R1's potential was better than first could have been imagined and Sylvain's efforts were extremely encouraging in Australia, with a top-five and top-six result. We need to work hard with what we have now while waiting for improvements but it's been a very good start to the season!"

What will be your main focus when adapting the YZF-R1 from the set-up used at Phillip Island to those needed for Thailand's Chang International Circuit next weekend and why?

"Chang is quite a different circuit and Phillip Island is quite special - we are going from a flowing layout to a more stop/start type track so the bike will need to be better on the brakes than the setting we used in Australia. We need to make the most of the braking areas at Chang and use the R1's strong points as effectively as we can."

Can you provide an insight to the job of a Crew Chief throughout a race weekend - what are your typical schedules and responsibilities day-by-day, how did the Phillip Island event run for you and what are your preparations now in the run up to round two?

"It's not the glamourous job people think it is and there are a lot of long hours! Phillip Island for example saw a 3am finish one night! As an event it went quite smoothly for me and everything worked out well but it's not always that easy. As Chief Engineer I am responsible for the day-to-day running of my side of the team, from simple organisational things like what time we leave in the morning, to what tyre plan were going to run in the next session - there can be quite a lot of pressure over the weekend and stress levels can run quite high. I work with the engineers from Yamaha, Ohlins and Pirelli to find the best solutions together, but ultimately it is my responsibility to put the bike onto the track with the best setting possible. I have already been working hard since PI analysing what happened in the races and where we could gain time while also planning for round two and deciding the start point setting of the bike. As Chief Engineer it's my job to use my experience and decide the start setting for the event and work forward from there."

What is your favourite circuit on the WorldSBK calendar and which do you think will suit the YZF-R1 the best?


"My favourite circuit is probably Laguna Seca, it has everything, good weather, exciting circuit and I love America, all the Italian rounds are nice also - good weather makes a big difference! Regarding the bike, with the performance character of the R1 Donnington will be a strong race for us, which as our home round will be great for the whole team, riders and our partners."

Pearson will join the rest of his Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand later this week as Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes get back to action for round two of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship on Saturday 12th March.
 

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Jonathan Rea And Kawasaki Together For Two More Years

Reigning FIM Superbike World Champion Jonathan Rea has re-signed with Kawasaki?s official KRT effort to compete for two more years on the class-leading latest model Ninja ZX-10R.


Committing to extend their mutually beneficial partnership into the future, both Rea and Kawasaki aim to continue the kind of success that delivered Rea the championship in his first KRT season last year.

Jonathan leads the current WorldSBK championship standings by 35 points after five rounds of the 2016 season have been completed.

Jonathan Rea stated: ?I am so happy to extend this partnership with the Kawasaki Racing Team and continue the great relationship I have with all the Kawasaki engineers and fans. It is clear that our objectives and way of working are very well matched so it makes perfect sense to extend this for two more seasons. With all the incredible memories we have made so far and are now creating, I am 100% confident that we will enjoy working together and develop the Ninja ZX-10R into the future. I would like to thank Kawasaki and all the KRT staff for their full support and belief in my potential. With this in mind I am now even more focused than ever to win the World SBK Championship in 2016 to make it back to back wins.?

Steve Guttridge, Racing Manager Kawasaki Europe, stated:
?The successes Kawasaki have enjoyed with Jonathan and his relationship with our Kawasaki Racing Team over a relatively short time has been phenomenal to witness. Finding that complete chemistry in racing is very difficult. Team, bike and rider all need to be in harmony together and for sure with JR we have found that magic mix, so it's only logical to continue the great relationship. Jonathan is a racer who understands well the importance of the entire team around him; the full package. With Johnny wanting to stay for two more years inside our team and riding the new Ninja ZX-10R, we have a full package.?

Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated:
?We have now two great riders in KRT. Two World Champions and the goal is to keep them for the next two years. Rea is an experienced rider with a young spirit and big motivation, open to learning and improving race-by-race. This gives us even greater potential to have an even better rider in two years? time. His big credit in this KRT project is to give us the pressure to give the best to him. I know clearly that the mechanics, crew, technicians, team staff and all KHI engineers will do our best to cover his expectations.?

Ichiro Yoda, KRT Senior Engineer, stated: ?The KRT project is based on development and information for KHI engineers to improve their knowledge and improve the development of future machines, working closely with the R&D department. We have re-signed a rider with commitment and skill who can push the limits of the bike to explain to the engineers his feelings. Jonathan has a good talent and speed, and we are very happy to use this energy to understand how the Ninja ZX-10R works at on-the-limit conditions. I?m sure in 2016, 2017 & 2018 we will have a strong package with him.?

The final word goes to Kenji Tomida, President of Kawasaki?s Motorcycle and Engineering Company.
?We were delighted to host the recent visit to KHI for 2015 WorldSBK Champion, Jonathan Rea. Our Ninja brand has been further enriched with the launch of the new Ninja ZX-10R on which Jonathan has already had much success this year. The whole Kawasaki family are understandably delighted that he has extended his relationship with the Kawasaki Racing Team and we wish him success both now and in the future.?
 

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Guintoli Targets Misano Return

Following his qualifying accident at Imola at the end of April and the resulting recent surgery to his left ankle, Sylvain Guintoli will not be able to participate in the upcoming MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship race at Donington Park scheduled for the 27-29th May. It is with regret that the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team can confirm Guintoli's recovery has required a longer period of rehabilitation than was first diagnosed, but he is currently recuperating well at home in a bid to return to the team and his YZF-R1 for the eighth round of competition, at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, on Friday 17th June.

The Frenchman intends to support his Pata Yamaha team at Donington Park for their home round next week. Further to Guintoli's teammate Alex Lowes suffering a broken collarbone in Sepang's Sunday race, details regarding the team's Donington rider line-up will be announced in due course.
Sylvain Guintoli


"Unfortunately the recovery is going to take me a little longer than I had originally hoped but the aim is to be fit in time for Misano. It was such a massive crash that the landing took more out of me than first realised but it's all on the mend now! They have inserted some screws into my ankle - which is a shame because I have been metal free for quite a while! - but the surgery was completely successful and it's just about recovery time and working to get myself back to 100% fitness again."
 

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Positive Test for Pata Yamaha at Misano

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team moved directly from Donington Park in the UK to the Italian Riviera this week, to conduct a one day test at the Misano World Circuit - Marco Simoncelli. Yamaha World Endurance and STK1000 rider Niccol? Canepa joined WorldSBK regular Alex Lowes at the Misano Adriatic track, standing in for Sylvain Guintoli as the Frenchman continues his rehabilitation from injury.

Lowes immediately got down to work at Misano, managing to ride for multiple short stints throughout the day - having had an extra few days to allow his shoulder to recover before taking to the somewhat physically easier track in comparison to Donington Park. Completing around 60 laps in total, the British rider worked through an extensive range of test items including new electronic control strategies, with a particular focus on traction control. Suspension-partners Ohlins also introduced new front fork settings, again with positive results, while additional chassis setting parts were tested to further develop the YZF-R1's suspension and handling response.

Canepa's recent experience on the YZF-R1M as part of the STK1000 campaign, and his recent testing on the YZF-R1 endurance machine allowed him to get up to speed quickly with the WorldSBK-spec bike, developing a good feeling early on. The Italian's breadth of experience throughout his career provided invaluable background as he worked on the testing program delivered by the Pata Yamaha team. Working primarily on the development-spec engine, Canepa put in considerable distance around his native 4,226m circuit to understand both the performance and the durability.

The first full test completed since Phillip Island at the start of the season, Misano provided valuable track time away from the added stress of a race weekend for the Pata Yamaha team, allowing the opportunity to test both new parts and a full array of different settings components and configurations with positive results. Heavy rain interrupted the afternoon session at around 15:00 local time, with Lowes choosing to conclude his day early. Canepa continued with some wet settings work before also calling time on the day slightly earlier than planned.

Paul Denning, Andrea Dosoli and the entire team send their thanks to Lowes for his efforts to test despite his injury and to Canepa for supporting the team and doing a great job at short notice. The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team will be back to full strength when they return to Misano for the forthcoming eighth round of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship on Friday 17th June.

Alex Lowes
"I am still frustrated as we have plenty of things to try but I'm not fit enough to get through them all. However, the work we did manage yesterday was good and I'm optimistic for the race in two weeks. I want to send a massive thank you to the whole team for all their hard work to make the test happen in such a busy schedule. I really appreciate it!"
Niccol? Canepa
"I am really happy with the test and I want to say thank you to Yamaha for this opportunity. I tested many things to continue the bike's development and we had a lot of good feedback. Usually it is not easy to switch from a Stock to a Superbike but the YZF-R1 is very easy and I felt comfortable from the first lap. It's a shame that it started to rain in the afternoon but it was good for the team to also be able to test in the wet conditions. I hope that the new improvements found will help Lowes and Guintoli to be fast in Misano for the next Superbike round in a few weeks."
 

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Jerez Test Sessions Point The Way Forward For KRT On Two Fronts

After a two-day test at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain the Kawasaki Racing Team pairing of Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea put in valuable development work for the future of the Ninja ZX-10R official Superbike World Championship machine.

With Sykes and Rea evaluating many parts and advances for the 2017 specification Ninja at Jerez the official KRT pairing learned valuable lessons, and delivered invaluable feedback to KHI to continue the project of machine development. They also found progress in set up that will allow them to compete even more strongly for the rest of he 2016 season.

With many new parts and strategies to try it was a busy testing period for all involved at Jerez, but ultimately a very positive one.

In warm and dry track temperatures over both days of the development tests the riders were able to complete a high lap count and complete their work schedules. Although the point of the test was not to improve outright pace over one lap both riders posted very competitive times, even on worn tyres and with track temperatures that got to over 60?C at times.

The intense Jerez test was welcomed by the riders and engineers, despite the logistical challenge involved in starting out on track on Wednesday June 1 in the south of Spain ? shortly after the end of a highly successful race weekend in the UK at Donington Park, which culminated on Sunday 29th May.

The next challenge for the KRT squad will be the race weekend at Misano in Italy. Thanks to the work done at the Spanish tests, even using material destined for 2017, valuable lessons were learned about 2016 set-up and tyre performance that are not possible to evaluate in a regular race weekend.

Jonathan Rea, stated: ?The good weather meant we had lots of uninterrupted track time and the quite high temperatures which may be very relevant when we come to race here in October. We focused mainly on the electronics side and other components in preparation for 2017. We got positive information for that and the main target was to test the new material. Lap time was not the main focus but we managed to be quite fast and consistent on old tyres, and we spent a lot of time on them. We gained some really valuable information in some areas for the next race and some benefits we will not see the result of until 2017. I want to say thank you very much to everyone for organising this test. It was logistically very difficult so soon after Donington, so thanks to the mechanics, team staff and KHI staff for all the effort after a race weekend and then a test for two full days.?

Tom Sykes, stated: ?We got in a really good test overall and did a lot of laps. I am really happy and the pace I got to here is really good, especially considering the track temperature was 63?C at some times. We have continued the good form from recent events and the best thing is that we were able to try things that we are not able to test at race events. We evaluated many things on chassis and suspension set up, and with our electronics. I did around 80 laps yesterday and about the same again today. I can relax now and think about all the things we did here. It has been really good to test because we have evaluated a lot of things and we are ready for the next race in Misano. Our lap times were fast but that was not our focus. All the same, I am pleasantly surprised at the lap times.?

Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: ?The test was planned a long time ago and because of this we concentrated quite a lot on some items for next year. We worked with the electronics and with some engineers from KHI to start to analyse and understand the direction for next year. We can be very pleased with job we have been doing at Jerez. We collected a lot of information and we are also looking forward to the next race in Misano after this experience. We confirmed some new things for 2017 and overall it was very positive. We have many reasons to be happy that we have had this test.?

Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Tom Sykes, stated: ?Some of this test was preparation for 2017 and we confirmed what we expected, in a good way. We tested some electronic items and confirmed that they were maybe even better then we expected. We are in good situation. This was a very useful test from that point of view. We have been strong in the past couple of events but even compared to Donington we found a better chassis set up. Conditions were very hot sometimes and on day one we had track temperatures of over 60?C. Our consistency of pace was better than last year's race. It was just over 50?C then and the consistency at racing speed was even better during these tests. By the end we also tried to polish our current set up. We are ready and confident to enter the next race weekend.?

Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: ?These tests have been really good for KRT & KHI. We could test many parts it is not possible to evaluate in a race weekend because time is tight and because they are part of a developing program of work. A lot of the ideas for next year related to electronics, suspension and set up to evaluate tyre performance. The Ninja ZX-10R is a great base to work on and in 2017 we will be even stronger, I?m sure. I would like to thank everybody, mechanics, KHI electronics staff and engineers, riders, all the team members and especially Danilo Casonato. My personal tribute to him with this mention. We have the best team staff of the world.?
 

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Sykes And Kawasaki Racing Team Continue Their Strong Partnership

2013 FIM Superbike World Champion for Kawasaki, Tom Sykes, will continue his successful relationship with KRT and KHI for another two years after making a new agreement with the Japanese factory to be a key member of the overall Ninja ZX-10R racing project, both on and off-track.

Having formed such a successful partnership with Kawasaki in the past few years, culminating in his championship win in 2013, Sykes will continue to be an integral part of the Kawasaki racing and development programme around the awesome Ninja ZX-10R. Tom?s commitment to the Kawasaki cause has been evident ever since he first rode a WorldSBK spec Ninja back in 2010, and he has collected an enviable list of achievements along the way.

Sykes has now taken 30 race wins, and all but one of his 76 career podium finishes, on ZX-10R machines. Tom has also set the second highest ever record of Superpole qualifying wins, which reached 36 at the most recent round in Misano. He has also set 30 fastest laps during WorldSBK races and has been twice a runner-up in the championship, in addition to his headlining success in 2013.

In making a new agreement with Kawasaki?s official squad Tom is now intent on continuing his career at the highest level of production-derived racing, with the most successful WorldSBK team and machine of recent times. Once more Tom will join up alongside his current KRT team-mate Jonathan Rea, who also recently re-signed.

Tom Sykes stated: ?I am really excited to have made a further commitment with KRT and KHI. It?s a great feeling to be back with such a great team for another two years. We have already shown the capabilities of the latest model Ninja ZX-10R this season and there is a lot of potential still to come from the bike. I think it is safe to say that we have the best all-round package in the FIM Superbike World Championship and I would like to thank KHI for showing their continued commitment to me as a rider. As well as the bike and the on-track performance I have been part of the Kawasaki family for seven years so it was really natural to continue that relationship. To carry on working with my dedicated crew - Marcel, Danilo, Mattia, Raul, Tambu and Ruben and all my other valued colleagues and friends in the team - was priceless as they are widely recognised as the pick of the crop in the WorldSBK paddock. I get so much support from the brilliant fans and passionate Kawasaki owners that it was also a positive decision to make to remain part of that. Another important thing is to continue the development programme, for the road bike and the race bike side of things, which is something I feel an integral part of. The technical aspect of working with the team and KHI is deeply satisfying to me, not just the successes on track.?

Steve Guttridge, Racing Manager Kawasaki Europe, stated: ?Tom has grown up inside our Kawasaki WorldSBK projects as have Kawasaki with Tom Sykes. The combination of Tom and his crew chief Marcel Duinker and data engineer Danilo Casonato, along with a great team of staff around them, has been invaluable to our Ninja ZX-10R's success and overall model feedback over the past several seasons. Both sides obviously value their relationship dearly and the continued potential of that relationship into the future. Given all of these things we are obviously very happy that we can look to the next two seasons with Tom.?

Guim Roda, KRT Team Manager, stated: ?Tom signing for two more years with Kawasaki is a very nice point to continue our project from, while also developing the latest Ninja ZX-10R until 2018. This is a part of Kawasaki?s strategy - to have two top riders inside KRT project - and now we can say proudly that we still have the two best riders in the WorldSBK championship. It has been a longer negotiation with Tom because he has been with Kawasaki for seven years - two with PBM and five with KRT - and there?s always some private and personal points we have to respect when a rider thinks about taking such a important decision. Tom always said from the beginning his first wish was to continue in the Kawasaki family, so we are happy he can trust in the new ZX-10R and KRT staff to get what he expects. I personally think that the best of Tom Sykes is yet to come. The level of competitiveness from KRT will be high and we will increase this even more, so I?m sure other manufacturers will have a tough job for the next two years.?

Ichiro Yoda, KRT Senior Engineer, stated: ?I have been involved for many years in racing activities, since 1980, and I know how difficult it is to have a rider motivated and convinced to stay for a nine years with a brand. We have given Tom the option to think calmly and we are very happy that he has decided his future is with Kawasaki and KRT. His value as a rider has been proved through many years. He has been now, for five years, in the top two or three in the world. This is not easy to do. His experience and sensitive riding style gives us good direction on the points to take care of to improve the Ninja ZX-10R in the next two years. I am personally very happy to again have two great riders in KRT.?


The final word goes to Mr. Yuji Horiuchi, General Manager of R&D Division, Motorcycle & Engine Company KHI, who stated: ?To have not one but two WorldSBK Champions in our team is a considerable achievement. We are happy that the valuable work Tom has already done on the development of the 2016 Ninja ZX-10R and his enviable technical ability can continue to benefit us for the next two seasons and that our racing project with KRT has the talent and stability it needs to achieve even greater racing success in the years to come?.
 

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Honda WorldSBK Team signs Stefan Bradl for the 2017 WorldSBK season



The Honda WorldSBK Team is pleased to announce the signing of 26-year-old Stefan Bradl from Germany for the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship. Crowned Moto2 World Champion in 2011, Bradl will join former MotoGP? Champion Nicky Hayden to complete a stellar line-up for Honda next season.

Despite his young age, Bradl has a wealth of experience at international level. Since his 125cc debut in 2005, he has collected nineteen podium finishes and seven wins across all Grand Prix classes. After winning the Moto2 World Championship in 2011, Stefan made his MotoGP debut with the LCR Honda Team in 2012 where his best result was a second-place finish at Laguna Seca in 2013.

The Honda WorldSBK Team would like to thank Michael van der Mark for his outstanding efforts and title-winning contribution during his tenure as a Honda rider. The team will maintain its unconditional support for Michael for the remainder of the season, with the goal of achieving the best possible results.

The Honda WorldSBK Team is pleased to confirm that its riders for the 2017 season will be Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl.

Stefan Bradl

I?m really happy to join the Honda WorldSBK Team for the 2017 season. It?s a great opportunity for me and I?m really looking forward to this new challenge with a really competitive team and I?m sure we?ll do great things together. Of course, this is going to be a whole new experience for me but I will try to adapt as quickly as possible, in order to get some really good results. I can?t wait to try the Fireblade and, obviously, it?ll be fantastic to work together with Nicky: I think it?s a fantastic combination because we understand each other really well. We can all look forward to the future and I am super motivated for this new journey.

Marco Chini -Honda's WorldSBK Operations Manager

We?re pleased to welcome Stefan Bradl to the Honda WorldSBK Team and are honoured that he accepted this new challenge with Honda, with the goal to compete at the highest level in WorldSBK. If we look at our line-up for 2017, with Ten Kate still as our official team within the series, we cannot hide the fact that we will be aiming for very good results next year. We cannot wait to take on this exciting new project however, for the moment we remain fully focused on the current season in order to put Nicky and Michael in the best possible position at the final four rounds of the year.


Ronald ten Kate -Honda WorldSBK team manager

We are very excited to welcome Stefan Bradl into our team and the WorldSBK paddock. Stefan has chosen to ride with Honda in World Superbike and we will be sure to repay his trust in us in the best possible way. In the meetings we?ve had so far, he gave us a clear view on his goals and the way to get there, and it is clear that we share the very same approach to racing. Like every other rider coming from MotoGP, he?ll need to get used to the different character of production-based motorcycles and tyres ? as well as learn the new tracks on the calendar ? but considering he is still very young, I?m sure he will learn fast!
 

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Honda even produced a twin and subsequently won the championship with it which shows what a difference cubes make regardless of the number of cylinders
 

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Honda WorldSBK Team signs Stefan Bradl for the 2017 WorldSBK season
The Honda WorldSBK Team is pleased to announce the signing of 26-year-old Stefan Bradl from Germany for the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship. Crowned Moto2 World Champion in 2011, Bradl will join former MotoGP? Champion Nicky Hayden to complete a stellar line-up for Honda next season.

Despite his young age, Bradl has a wealth of experience at international level. Since his 125cc debut in 2005, he has collected nineteen podium finishes and seven wins across all Grand Prix classes. After winning the Moto2 World Championship in 2011, Stefan made his MotoGP debut with the LCR Honda Team in 2012 where his best result was a second-place finish at Laguna Seca in 2013.

The Honda WorldSBK Team would like to thank Michael van der Mark for his outstanding efforts and title-winning contribution during his tenure as a Honda rider. The team will maintain its unconditional support for Michael for the remainder of the season, with the goal of achieving the best possible results.

The Honda WorldSBK Team is pleased to confirm that its riders for the 2017 season will be Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl.

Stefan Bradl

I?m really happy to join the Honda WorldSBK Team for the 2017 season. It?s a great opportunity for me and I?m really looking forward to this new challenge with a really competitive team and I?m sure we?ll do great things together. Of course, this is going to be a whole new experience for me but I will try to adapt as quickly as possible, in order to get some really good results. I can?t wait to try the Fireblade and, obviously, it?ll be fantastic to work together with Nicky: I think it?s a fantastic combination because we understand each other really well. We can all look forward to the future and I am super motivated for this new journey.


Marco Chini
Honda's WorldSBK Operations Manager


We?re pleased to welcome Stefan Bradl to the Honda WorldSBK Team and are honoured that he accepted this new challenge with Honda, with the goal to compete at the highest level in WorldSBK. If we look at our line-up for 2017, with Ten Kate still as our official team within the series, we cannot hide the fact that we will be aiming for very good results next year. We cannot wait to take on this exciting new project however, for the moment we remain fully focused on the current season in order to put Nicky and Michael in the best possible position at the final four rounds of the year.

Ronald ten Kate
Honda WorldSBK team manager


We are very excited to welcome Stefan Bradl into our team and the WorldSBK paddock. Stefan has chosen to ride with Honda in World Superbike and we will be sure to repay his trust in us in the best possible way. In the meetings we?ve had so far, he gave us a clear view on his goals and the way to get there, and it is clear that we share the very same approach to racing. Like every other rider coming from MotoGP, he?ll need to get used to the different character of production-based motorcycles and tyres ? as well as learn the new tracks on the calendar ? but considering he is still very young, I?m sure he will learn fast!
 

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Nicky Hayden and Freddy Foray unveil the brand-new 2017 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade to the world in Cologne



Cologne, 4 October 2016 ? The Intermot motorcycle show today hosted a special event for Honda and the motorcycling world: the unveiling of the new 2017 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP and SP2 models.

After trying it out for himself at Valencia?s Circuito Ricardo Tormo last month, Honda WorldSBK Team?s Nicky Hayden ? joined by Freddy Foray of the Honda Endurance Racing team ? took to the stage to reveal the latest chapter in Honda?s epic 25-year-old Fireblade history.

The development of the 2017 Fireblade has remained true to the ground-breaking spirit of the original 1992 machine, with a relentless focus on power to weight ratio. A 15kg weight reduction and 8kW top end power boost combine to give a 14% improvement in power to weight, making the 2017 Fireblade the sharpest in its 25 year history. A new electronics package includes semi-active ?hlins Electronic Control suspension, Honda Selectable Torque Control, Selectable Engine Brake and Power settings, Quickshifter, and Downshift Assist.

A video of today?s launch is now available for viewing by clicking on the link below:

www.facebook.com/hondaproracing

For more information on the 2017 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP and SP2 models visit www.hondanews.eu
 

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Bradl makes the most of changeable weather conditions at Jerez test



The Honda WorldSBK Team enters the winter break in confident mood after completing a two-day test at ?Circuito de Jerez? in southern Spain. With Nicky Hayden out of action following an injury sustained last Friday during a flat-track training session, it was up to the sole rider Stefan Bradl to carry out the testing duties at the fast-flowing Andalusian venue.

With weather conditions not as kind as during the previous two-day test at MotorLand Arag?n, Bradl and the team spent the first day trying to find a good setup for the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machine for wet-track conditions as well as for flag-to-flag races. The young German rider completed 35 laps while also evaluating some modifications to the electronics with regard to engine braking.

The second day of action got underway with the 4.423km of the track still soaked by rain. Around midday, the sun came out briefly but the lack of wind slowed down the drying process. Despite never getting back to fully dry conditions, later in the day the asphalt was grippy enough for Stefan to be out on slicks. He tried two sets of tyres and, with the second one, he set his fastest lap of the test in 1?42.5.

Stefan Bradl 6

It surely wasn?t the perfect weather to go testing. Yesterday we did 35 laps in wet conditions, just to get a feeling with the bike and with the Pirelli tyres in the wet; it was a quite positive day and we made the best of it. Even today was affected by poor weather because it rained until noon, and it took a very long time for the track to dry. We did 20 laps with slick tyres but the there were still a few damp patches about, so I did not stay out for too long and we didn?t make any modifications to the bike, because I was not fast enough to get a feeling for it. At least we managed to do a couple of laps in mostly dry conditions and the feeling was very similar to Arag?n, so I can say that it?s been a good first experience overall with Honda in World Superbike. Now it?s time to relax, recharge the batteries and be ready to jump on the new Fireblade.

Pieter Breddels-Technical Manager

So, that?s it for the first two tests of the off-season, which were both quite interesting for Stefan; he was quick to adapt to the new bike and Pirelli tyres, and it took him very little time to get up to speed, which is really encouraging. Lap times came for him without pushing too much so, all in all, the initial transition has gone well. Obviously, we are eager and excited to see what he will be able to do with the new bike. It was a pity not to have Nicky on our side here and we look forward to having him back with us in January. Honestly, there wasn?t a lot to do for him at this test, so he hasn?t lost too much.
 

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Nicky Hayden undergoes successful knee surgery



Nicky Hayden had successful surgery on a detached right knee medial collateral ligament (MCL), which was carried out by Dr. David Chao at the Oasis Surgery Center in San Diego, California, at 7am PST (GMT -8) today. The Honda WorldSBK Team rider twisted his knee last Friday during a flat-track training session near Barcelona, Spain.

Hayden will have a post-operation evaluation in the coming days to determine when he can begin physical therapy.

Nicky Hayden 69

Unfortunately I injured my knee between the two private tests of Arag?n and Jerez. I had a chance to do some flat-track training during my days off on a small, second-gear, track but I caught my foot awkwardly in a bit of a rut and twisted my knee around. Luckily, I didn?t crash nor hurt anything else on my body, but I knew straight away that something was wrong with my knee. It turned out that I had a tear to the MCL so, after consulting with some doctors back in the US, I had an operation today to fix it. I will rest for a few days but it looks like I?m going to start rehab very soon and I will follow the doctor?s instructions very closely. Injuries are never good, but luckily I have a bit of time now before the new season comes around. I want to thank Dr. Chao and his staff; I will now spend some days testing and then tackle the rehab in order to jump on the new bike as soon as possible!
 

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Rain in Spain Halts Pata Yamaha Jerez Test after Positive Two Days on Track

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team's three-day test schedule was cut short at the Circuito de Jerez today, as heavy rain, strong winds and chilling temperatures hit the Andaluc?an region. However, the promising work already undertaken during Wednesday and Thursday's sessions by Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark has left the squad pleased with the outcome and confident the information garnered will see them positively through the winter's development stage.

Continuing the detailed evaluation work from Aragon, Lowes navigated the 4,423m layout completing 92 laps during the opening two, cool but sun-filled days at the southern Spanish circuit. With two fully-dedicated YZF-R1's and a prototype-prepared machine at his disposal, the British rider concentrated on improving his race pace in reference to his MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship competitors - utilising only the Pirelli tyres employed during October's event as his reference - while he traversed the extensive Yamaha test plan featuring both performance and fundamental parts testing with much success. New 2017 prototype chassis design parts were analysed on track for the first time by Lowes and his new Dutch teammate, with important feedback documented for further development by Yamaha Motor Europe's R&D ahead of the new season's January testing. Lowes concludes 2016 confident with his improved pace, having recorded his fastest ever Jerez lap on race rubber - a 1'40.142 - despite struggling with ongoing flu conditions and deciding to sit out of Friday's wet session to recuperate.

Team rookie van der Mark continued the positive showing seen at last week's debut as he familiarised himself further with his YZF-R1 and Pata Yamaha crew at Jerez. Choosing to set a small number of laps during Friday's dismal downpour, allowing him his first taste of the Yamaha Superbike in the wet, the 23-year-old concluded his final three days in Spain with a tally of 154 laps. Running an equally demanding schedule to his British counterpart, van der Mark used the eight hour days to focus on both his individual set-up and performance elements, while also adding to the evaluation of prototype components for next season.

Alex Lowes
"Overall the test was quite positive for us here in Jerez. We tested a wide variety of parts and made progress in a few of the areas where I have struggled in the past, while also identifying where we still need to improve to close the gap to the front. We were lucky with the weather for the first two days as the forecast wasn't great before we arrived but I haven't been feeling very well throughout this week so I decided to sit out the wet conditions on the final day. With four good days on track complete I can also go into the winter break with a clear understanding of what I need to work on and where I must improve to be better next year. As always I want to say a massive thank you to all the team, it's been a very tough year and I really appreciate their work, now let's focus on 2017!"
 

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Video ? Stefan Bradl speaks of his Honda WorldSBK Team debut



New signing for the Honda WorldSBK Team Stefan Bradl is looking forward to his new challenge for 2017 as he prepares for his debut FIM Superbike World Championship season. The 27-year-old German rider had a first chance to try the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP ? which the team had used throughout the 2016 season ? last month at the MotorLand Arag?n circuit in Northern Spain.

After his very first day riding a production-based motorcycle, Bradl shared his thoughts on his return to Honda, the bike, the challenge ahead and much more.

Click here to play the video on YouTube
 

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Honda and Akrapovič join forces for the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship


Honda Motor Europe is delighted to announce a partnership with Akrapovič for the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship, which will see Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl?s Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machines being fitted with the state-of-the art exhaust systems provided by the highly innovative and pioneering Slovenian company.

The technical partnership between the two brands is not new to the WorldSBK paddock: it was in 2000, in fact, that their joint effort led to the first World Championship title for Akrapovič, as Colin Edwards sealed the ultimate prize on board the Honda VTR1000SP1 machine. Two years later, history repeated itself with another World Superbike title win for Honda and Akrapovič.

With such a successful history together, this newly re-formed technical partnership aims for further glory around the 13 venues of the 2017 WorldSBK season.

Akrapovič has developed a unique exhaust system which is tailored around the WorldSBK-spec version of the brand-new 2017 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2. Made of special lightweight titanium alloys, it is designed to further boost the overall performance of the bike and give it a competitive edge for the pinnacle of production-based motorcycle racing.

Robert Watherston ? Honda Motor Europe, Head of Motorsport


?It is with great pleasure that Honda Motor Europe extends its technical alliance with Akrapovič, who have been a key technical partner of our Endurance, Road Racing and British Superbikes programme for many years. With the release of the new CBR1000RR Fireblade in 2017, it is the perfect time to extend this partnership to include the WorldSBK project which is the ultimate expression of production-based racing. Our previous collaboration in the WorldSBK championship proved to be very successful, and brought Akrapovič its first World Championship in 2000. With this renewed partnership, both parties are again committed to working together to achieve the same goal of winning the world title. In terms of delivering the very highest levels of performance, innovation and quality for our Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 race machines, there is no better choice than Akrapovič.?

Uro? Rosa ? Akrapovič CEO

?We are delighted to announce this new partnership with Honda in World Superbikes and to extend our already successful partnership we have enjoyed for many years with Honda in EWC and BSB. We have a proud history with Honda in WorldSBK, and the fact that we won our first World Championship title with them makes this renewed acquaintance a very special and significant event for all at Akrapovič. We are under no illusions that we face a big challenge, but that is something we will thrive upon and it will push us to produce the best systems we can. We already have the know-how of developing a race exhaust for Honda in Superbikes as we produced over 40 different specifications during the two-and-a-half years we worked with them in the past, so they know that we have the experience, determination and skill to create the best exhaust for their racing needs.?
 
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