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HRC Prepare for 2022 Official Launch

Tomorrow, the World Superbike team, Honda Racing Cooperation [HRC] are set to launch their 2022 CBR-1000RR-R Fireblade ahead of this year’s championship assault. 

In doing so, the Factory Honda squad will be the first to draw back the curtain to show off their all- new livery, donned by WSBK newbies, Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge. 

The virtual launch is available to watch through the teams official Facebook page and YouTube channel, and will go live at 9:00am UK time.  

Bound from Grand Prix racing in the MotoGP and Moto2 World Championships and coming off the back of some positive pre-season tests, the two rookies of Lecuona and Vierge can’t be ruled out as season front runners. 

The HRC coup got their first taste of the CBR-1000RR-R Fireblade during an initial test last December at Circuito de Jerez, where they were able to trial a new Showa suspension setup as an alternative to OHLINS. 

The suspension wasn’t the only component to be trialled that day, as they were also spotted testing Nissin brakes after previously running with Brembo throughout 2021.

It was a frustrating end to what was a productive first outing in the Honda saddle for Lecuona, as his track time was cut short due to sustaining a fractured finger on his left hand.  

For HRC, the tech innovations continued as they traced back to the venue for a second test at the end of January, appearing out on track for the first day of a two-day meeting. 

Having ridden for the first time since his accident, Lecuona admitted his hand was yet to fully recover.

Non the less, the Spaniard appeared not shy of getting stuck back in, finishing in P3 overall after posting a lap time of 1’40.496s. 

The time was clocked just one tenth under of his teammate, Vierge, who finished runner up to pace setter, Alex Lowes. 

As of now, neither Vierge nor Lecuona have been officially confirmed as participants in the remaining pre-season tests. However, the pair are expected to emerge back out on track between now and the season opener on April 8-10. 

For now, though, it’s all eyes towards tomorrow’s team launch, as they’re set to reveal their 2022 steed in all its glory, ahead of what promises to be an extraordinary season of wheel-to-wheel racing. 

What do you think?