Factory Honda WorldSBK jockey Alvaro Bautista has admitted he was surprised at the difference between inline and V4 engines, and likened the 2020 Fireblade motor to a two-stroke.
The Spaniard rode a V4 for most of his MotoGP career and carried that on to Ducati in last year’s Superbike championship before moving on to partner Leon Haslam in the new HRC team for 2020.
His switch to the high-revving CBR motor took Bautista by surprise and he has had not much fun adapting to it while Haslam has moved from the similar Kawasaki.
“To be honest, I didn’t expect to make such a big difference. It is a fact that during my career in the MotoGP World Championship and also in my first year as a superbike, I always drove motorcycles with V4 four-stroke engines,” said Bautista.
“I expected an inline four-cylinder engine to be easier - at least that’s what you always heard. I cannot say whether it is easier or more difficult - but it is completely different.
The Honda engine reminds me more of two-stroke engines. I didn’t expect the changeover to be so difficult.
“The engine is really powerful - for me it’s its strength. I didn’t expect him to be that strong. But sometimes performance is useless if you can’t control it. Because uncontrollable power is useless.
“We can’t push 100 per cent until everything is in the right place when the power is deployed. This bike was built for the racetrack. The good thing is that Honda is very heavily involved in this project.
“We are working intensively with electronics to make the Honda drivable. HRC makes a huge effort, they work very hard.”