Honda Europe’s WorldSBK chief Chris Pike has indicated that working on how the Fireblade delivers its power without the help of electronics is Red Bull-backed team’s focus for the foreseeable future.
Pike, who has done pretty much every job in racing, took over from Italian Marco Chini as Honda’s Superbike point-man and appears pleased with the progress of the SP2 so far.
“Our bike is very good in some areas, we have taken big steps with the switch to Magneti Marelli electronics and also with the chassis developments,” said Pike.
“We need to keep the momentum in these two areas and pick up more on the engine performance, the outright power is not so bad but we need to concentrate on the natural power delivery of the engine and rely less on electronics to smooth it out.
“We have quite a lot of things to test in Portimão, so much that we booked an extra couple of days of track time. We have an two different chassis options to test to get a direction for 2019, Akrapovič have built a new exhaust system for the Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR and there are some quite significant electronic upgrades to try.
“We also have a brand new engine specification to try out, so it’s fair to say that the team will be busy during the upcoming tests.”