Honda’s new WorldSBK boss Jaume Colom is well aware of how competitive this season will be once it gets under way.
But the Spaniard believes that with the experienced Leon Haslam and Alvaro Bautista on board the 2020 Fireblade the task will be made a little easier, as their pace showed at Phillip Island at the end of February.
“We knew that the beginning would not be easy. At a logistical level, we have started from scratch, from the most basic things, going through all the material, tools and personnel,” said Colom.
“This requires many hours and a lot of work. I am very excited about the project, but we have to wait for the current situation to improve and we can recover normal life and work.
From a sporting side, the current circumstances affect us a lot, because what we need are hours of training and being on the track. Work has continued in Japan, but with the bike and its development, we cannot do anything.
“As I say, in HRC the activity has continued, but working in the office is not the same as working on the track. All the data we got from Australia has been analysed – what would help us now is to keep on riding the bike.”
The Australian round saw Bautista come away with 20 points and Haslam 17, and Colom believes the potential of the bike has been shown, the team just needs to get it there.
“We saw that we were relatively close to the top riders. Leon and Álvaro’s times proved that. But due to one thing or another, the race results left us wanting more… The positive thing is that we saw that we have a lot potential.
“The bike’s top speed and power are very good, but other things need to be adjusted: chassis, suspensions. From what we could see in Australia, we are not far from the other bikes, so when we can continue working and developing the bike, our intention is to get to the top as quickly as possible.”