There are many tragedies to the disruptions coming from the worldwide coronavirus outbreak, the loss of motorcycle being one of them (though certainly at a much lesser scale of importance to many of the losses we are suffering right now).
But for the purposes of being a daily motorcycle publication, not being able to see the new Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP on the WorldSBK stage is certainly a disappointment for us though.
This is because theHonda CBR1000RR-R represents HRC’s great inline-four hope for a production-class world championship title, most notably because the Japanese racing outfit has finally built an all-new racing platform for the superbike market.
The stock bike makes 215hp (160 kW) / 83 lbs•ft of peak torque from its engine; it boasts integrated aerodynamic pods on the side of the fairing, and it has a full suite of electronics rider aids. At 443 lbs (201 kg), the new CBR is exceptionally light as well.
For the WorldSBK Championship, we can imagine those specs only get more spectacular, which in itself is something to wonder at. This is the first Honda superbike built in this century with the sole purpose of winning races.
From that, we have high hopes for when the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade comes to the USA later this year (it should be a superb track bike), but before we can put that hope to trial, we already had high hopes for the machine in the WorldSBK paddock.
With Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam onboard, the factory Honda team is perhaps the dark horse of the 2020 season…or at least they were, until things came to a screeching halt after the Phillip Island round.
The Australian round didn’t show lightning results for Honda and its riders (spoiler alert: 5th was the best they managed), but Phillip Island is also an anomaly when it comes to predicting season results. All eyes were on the Honda duo when the WorldSBK Championship came to Europe.
We will have to play a game of “wait and see” for probably a few more months now, but until then we wanted to share these photos of the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP kitted out in WorldSBK trim.
Will we see it in winner’s circle this year? Only time will tell.
Photos: Honda Racing