PICS: First glimpse of the Team HRC WorldSBK Honda CBR1000RR-R

The 2020 Team HRC Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade WorldSBK machine breaks cover in public for the very first time in Spain

Leon Haslam - Team HRC Honda CBR1000RR-R

The WorldSBK-spec Honda CBR1000RR has broken cover in public for the first time during the first morning of the opening 2020 test at Jerez.

With the roadgoing model being put through its paces by Visordown next week in Qatar, the much anticipated new Fireblade is making its bow as a WorldSBK machine in Spain in the hands of Team HRC and its riders Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam.

Though it isn’t the first time the CBR1000RR-R has hit the track having participated in testing behind closed doors at the tail end of 2019, this is its debut in a public arena and against factory rivals Kawasaki, Ducati, BMW and Yamaha.

Frustratingly for Honda, track action is being disrupted initially by poor weather conditions as Spain reels from after-effects of the deadly Storm Gloria, though both Bautista and Haslam have since hit the track in the damp. As of 12pm, lap times were around 20secs down on the lap record of 1m 38.247s set by Jonathan Rea.

As such, this means we may be forced to wait a little longer to find discover whether the 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R – which is purported to generate up to 214hp – will be a competitive addition to the grid.

However, insiders have suggested the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade is indeed a sizeable improvement on its predecessor, which struggled for top ten results in 2019. According to WorldSBK commentator Steve English, the Honda was setting ‘very fast times’ when it was testing in December.

This will be the first foray into WorldSBK for Team HRC, which also runs Honda’s hugely successful MotoGP effort from its base in Barcelona.