SBK - Superbike World Championship

09/19/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/19/2020 12:11

Bautista explains Honda changes for Catalunya Round

New parts for Team HRC are explained by Alvaro Bautista after he finished in fifth place in Race 1 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) secured Honda's first front row start since 2018 by qualifying in third place in the Tissot Superpole Race for the Acerbis Catalunya Round as the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship took to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the first time. Bautista was able to convert this into a fifth-place finish, his fifth since Race 2 at Portimao at the start of August.

Honda has been making progress since it returned to the Championship as a factory effort with Bautista scoring its first podium of 2020 in Race 2 at the Teruel Round. The Spanish rider has continued to show solid and consistent results since the season restarted with only one race finish outside the top ten when he has finished races.

Reacting to the day, Bautista said: 'We are making some progress. Today, we achieved our best position on the grid with the first row. For the race, I had a lot of confidence, but we have to see what happens in long distance because we cannot do a lot of practice on the dry track. For sure, my expectation was to be a bit faster. We had a small problem on the engine brake because we are using a different clutch that Honda brought here to make a step forward.

'Now I feel much more consistent with the working of the clutch during the race, the feeling is good, but it is a bit different from the old one and we also need to adjust the electronics. Here, we didn't have a lot of time to test and we went into the race thinking 'we will see' especially when the tyre dropped off. I felt a lot of problems. It has been good because I can finish the race, I have a touch on the last lap with Rinaldi and I was lucky that I didn't crash. I'm happy because we are working really well, and we now have more data from this clutch.'

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