WorldSBK: Group HRC Honda Launched On-line (Consists of Video) – Roadracing World Journal


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2024 Group HRC formally launched throughout on-line occasion

Group HRC formally launches its 2024 Superbike World Championship marketing campaign by unveiling the livery of the brand new CBR1000RR-R and outlining the squad’s goals for the brand new season throughout a web-based presentation.

On Friday 9 February, Group HRC formally introduced its 2024 WorldSBK undertaking that can see manufacturing unit riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge take to the monitor with the all-new CBR1000RR-R.

In the course of the on-line launch broadcast on HRC official social pages, new Group HRC supervisor José Manuel Escamez outlined the goals for the upcoming racing season. This was adopted by a video unveiling of the brand new 2024 Fireblade that will probably be entrusted to Lecuona and Vierge. As they head into a 3rd consecutive season with Group HRC, the 2 Spanish riders reiterated their targets for the upcoming championship, emphasising the necessity to exploit the brand new bike’s potential and acquire good grip and acceleration in addition to consistency at completely different racetracks in order to construct on final season’s efficiency.

The 2024 Honda Fireblade options an array of up to date parts, beginning with new aerodynamics and electronics packages. The Japanese engineers have labored tirelessly in current months to supply the manufacturing unit Superbike staff with a sequence of recent components that ought to deliver advantages throughout many areas, not least acceleration, deceleration, and braking. Throughout winter testing, the staff and riders have had a primary alternative to work on the bike, as they search a base setup that may enable them to harness the machine’s apparent potential.

The aesthetically impactful livery sees the CBR emblem flaunt a brighter shade of blue, whereas a hanging blue band adorns the stomach pan. To mirror this modification, the riders’ leathers incorporate the same blue band working vertically from prime to backside.

Lecuona and Vierge will probably be again on monitor with the new-look CBR1000RR-R on 19-20 February, when they’ll participate within the final pre-season take a look at on the Phillip Island circuit in Australia earlier than returning to the identical monitor on 23-25 February for the opening spherical of the 2024 Superbike World Championship season.


Xavi Vierge. Photograph courtesy Group HRC.


Xavi Vierge 97


your Instagram, plainly you’re at all times both biking or motocross driving.

“I just like the winter interval, as I can spend extra time at dwelling and make plans forward of the brand new season. I like MX and may experience extra over winter than at some other time. I attempt to do a whole lot of motorbike coaching and biking too. I’m primarily based in Barcelona and there are lots of tracks for MX and supermoto very near my dwelling, inside half-hour, so I spend a whole lot of time doing that. It’s nice enjoyable.”

That is your third yr in WorldSBK but additionally your third season with HRC. Speak us by means of the way you’re feeling as you head into your third yr.

“I’m actually wanting ahead to this yr. We at all times say that our objective is to win and HRC has made an unlimited effort to deliver us an incredible new bike. I too am working laborious to organize with a view to begin the season robust.”

The brand new Fireblade brings many adjustments. What’s your focus when it comes to pre-season testing and what would you like from the bike?

“We mainly need to enhance slightly in each space. We are able to brake late however within the remaining a part of the braking, we have now problem stopping correctly, so we’re engaged on that, and in addition on the drive. We’ve already seen we have now extra potential in that space with the brand new bike, and with the electronics too, so I’m excited to see what we are able to do if we’re capable of finding a very good base-setup.”

And there are adjustments to the aerodynamics. Does this make for much less pitching throughout nook entry?

“Sure, that’s one of many advantages. We’ve seen that the aerodynamics get extra essential annually, and so it helps on this sense and in addition when it comes to decreasing wheelies.”

You reached the rostrum in Indonesia in 2023, a improbable outcome. Does that kickstart your 2024 marketing campaign?

“Sure, for positive. Let’s say that we didn’t at all times reside as much as our potential in 2023, as efficiency generally relied on the monitor, the situations, and whether or not there was a very good degree of grip or not. Our potential was nice at Indonesia, for instance, however maybe much less so at another tracks, so we need to work laborious to attain a greater, extra constant degree of efficiency at completely different circuits.”

What are you most wanting ahead to in 2024?

“We’re a manufacturing unit staff, and our efficiency must mirror this. I feel it’s essential to give attention to the current and work laborious, take a look at by take a look at and race by race, in order that we will be able to combat for large issues.”


Iker Lecuona. Photo courtesy Team HRC.
Iker Lecuona. Photograph courtesy Group HRC.

Iker Lecuona 7


Inform us about your low season?

“I’ve actually loved the low season. I like the winter and love the chilly, and am fortunate sufficient to reside in Andorra, which is the right place for snowboarding. So I do a whole lot of alpine snowboarding however then additionally some motocross and flat monitor. I like the winter season as I can calm down and take time for myself.”

2024 is your third yr with Group HRC in WorldSBK and brings a brand new Fireblade mannequin. What’s your focus through the pre-season heading into spherical one?

“I’m very comfortable to be a manufacturing unit rider with the identical staff for a 3rd yr and it means I’m motivated to work laborious through the pre-season. I had a small surgical procedure on my hand in early December in order that I’d have time to get better after which have the suitable power and perspective to get again on the bike and work laborious in January. I do know my objective, I do know my goals, and I do know the place I need to enhance, so I’m attempting to give attention to these areas with the intention of with the ability to combat on the entrance in Australia and past. Let’s see what occurs…”

Throughout testing, you’ve mentioned that the 2024 mannequin feels completely different to final yr’s model. What’s it precisely that feels completely different to you?

“The 2 bikes are positively completely different. We instantly began with an improved model final December, with completely different aerodynamics and completely different electronics. Small particulars actually, however these make for an enormous step when put collectively. I really feel the bike is extra secure with this aerodynamics package deal, and we are able to extra simply perceive the behaviour of the bike. We have to regulate our line barely, however we are able to use extra energy and brake slightly later. Basically, the general really feel is completely different because of this mixture of recent parts. Having mentioned that, we nonetheless have a whole lot of work to do with a view to put all of it collectively and discover the very best compromise to have the ability to be exploit the potential of the brand new components.”

How is the connection together with your new crew chief?

“To be trustworthy, altering crew chief is rarely actually an issue for me. I feel I’m a pleasant, open particular person and so I’m at all times comfortable to work with new colleagues and have at all times had a very good relationship with members of my crew. My preliminary impression is nice, and Tom appears to be a really cool man with a optimistic, cheerful outlook. Up to now, so good, and I stay up for growing our relationship all through the season.”

Final yr you scored eight prime six finishes. What’s the objective for 2024?

“The objective is to combat for the rostrum. We reached the rostrum in our first yr however not final yr, which was more difficult. So our first objective is to develop the bike to a degree that enables us to combat on the entrance and combat for the rostrum. We need to obtain extra prime three finishes, after which take it from there.”

José Manuel Escámez

Group Supervisor

Inform us in regards to the journey that has led you to develop into Group Supervisor of Group HRC in WorldSBK?

“I first labored as a mechanic in Barcelona earlier than transferring into the racing area. Most of my racing profession to this point has been within the MotoGP championship, the place I’ve had probability to work with some nice riders and good groups, together with a number of seasons with HRC already. Now, I’m very comfortable to be the Group Supervisor of Group HRC in World Superbike and am prepared to use all my expertise to this new function. The corporate is identical, and the way in which of working can be related, so it’s been a comparatively easy transition, though there are additionally many new issues to familiarise myself with, after all.”

What are your expectations for the 2024 season, when it comes to the riders, the staff, and the brand new Fireblade?

“It’s too early to speak about particular outcomes as we nonetheless have checks to conduct. A practical objective for us could be to proceed rising and growing the brand new Fireblade whereas enhancing our efficiency in comparison with final yr. I imagine we have now loads of room for enchancment, and so long as we preserve making constant progress, this will probably be a practical path to comply with.”

What do you see as the principle challenges forward?

“The principle problem is to develop into aggressive with the brand new bike as quickly as attainable. There are numerous updates throughout all areas of the machine, so we have to deliver all of it collectively and discover a base setup that enables our riders to completely exploit the bike’s potential. The following problem will probably be to constantly compete for top-five positions and safe some podium finishes. We’re conscious that this can be a important problem, contemplating the excessive degree of competitors within the championship, however we’re working tirelessly to attain that objective.”

What’s the philosophy you deliver to the staff?

“I’ll try to maintain the staff united and dealing collectively in the direction of the identical objective. I’ve held varied positions inside a staff all through my profession, each on the mechanical facet and in coordination roles. This has given me the chance to grasp folks and their emotions, so I need to be sure that everybody is ready to give their finest for the staff.”



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