The Honda Racing team is signing off after a positive Isle of Man TT campaign; although the results do not reflect the performance of the riders Ian Hutchinson and Lee Johnston, the squad is leaving this year’s event pleased with progress and on-going development of the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
Hutchinson continued to impress as he made his return to the TT after breaking his leg in an accident last year. With inspirational drive and determination the ‘Bingley Bullet’ completed a total of 39 laps aboard the CBR during practice and race week, just one month after having his external frame removed.
‘Hutchy’ improved his lap times and feeling aboard the Fireblade during each session and although he didn’t finish the Senior TT, feeling he wasn’t able to complete the full race distance after the second pit stop, the Honda team are proud of his efforts this week and know it’s only a matter of time before he’s back to full speed.
Meanwhile teammate Johnston went into today’s Senior TT confident after a six-place finish in Saturday’s opening Superbike race aboard the Fireblade. With glorious conditions once again around the 37.73-mile Mountain circuit, ‘The General’ had made his way into the top-ten. However at the end of the second lap he retired with a technical issue.
With the data and information collected from the TT, the team will now start looking towards the Ulster GP, which takes place 5-11 August.
Honda Racing’s Lee Johnston secured a solid sixth place finish in June 2nd’s opening RST Superbike race at the Isle of Man TT, aboard the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2, while teammate Ian Hutchinson retired from the six-lap race.
With the Superbike race getting underway at a slightly later time than planned, due to fog and mist across the Mountain, the Honda duo set off at 1pm local time, with Hutchy fourth and Johnston 13th on the road.
‘The General’ had strong pace from the start and quickly settled into a good rhythm aboard the CBR around the 37.73-mile Mountain circuit. Coming into the first pit stop at the end of the second lap, Johnston had moved into tenth place.
With consistent, quick lap times and fast pit stops from the super-slick Honda crew, Johnston was able to make up places throughout the race, eventually crossing the line in sixth place with a race time of 1:47:42.014 (15 seconds from fifth place).
Meanwhile teammate Hutchinson retired from the race on lap four at Governor’s Bridge. Having got a good start off the line and looking strong in the opening stages of the race, he pulled in at the end of lap four having struggled with suspension set-up on the CBR machine.
The team will now prepare for the Superstock race on Monday 4 June, ahead of the blue riband Senior TT on Friday 8 June.
Credit: Honda Racing CBR Media Team
The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team are aiming to get their season back on track this weekend as Leon Camier and Jake Gagne prepare to take on the fast and furious Donington Park circuit for round 6 of the FIM World Superbike Championship.
A rigorous recovery regime following his accident in round 3 wasn’t enough to allow Camier to race at the previous round at Imola, however following another two weeks of treatment, the British star is in better physical condition heading into this weekend. Camier is hopeful of completing the whole race weekend, however the real test to gauge his fitness will come during Friday’s Free Practice sessions around the 4 kilometre (2.49 mile) long Donington circuit.
Fronting the other Fireblade, Jake Gagne is facing the challenge of yet again visiting a circuit he hasn’t raced at previously, however the American rookie has proven this season that he is a quick learner on the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 and he aims to be back in the points this weekend.
The Donington Park Circuit is a track of two distinct halves, with the first section comprising fast, flowing corners and elevation changes through sections such as Hollywood and the Craner Curves, while the second half is exemplified by flatter, tighter sections like the Fogarty Esses and Melbourne Hairpin.
Action starts at the Donington WorldSBK round with Free Practice 1 at 0945 local time (GMT +1) on Friday with Race 1 on Saturday starting at 1315 on Saturday and 1300 on Sunday.
Credit: Red Bull Honda Racing Media Team
Honda Racing, along with riders Ian Hutchinson and Lee Johnston, are getting ready to head to The International North West 200 next week (15-19 May), as they kick off their road racing campaign aboard the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
With some uncertainty over Hutchinson and if he would be able to race, following an accident at last year’s Isle of Man TT where he broke his left leg, the ‘Bingley Bullet’ was back on two wheels with the Honda team last Friday (4 May), after having his external frame removed and being passed fit to race by the ACU.
Looking comfortable on the Fireblade and completing over 78 laps of Mallory Park, Hutchy and the team returned over the Bank Holiday weekend to take part in the East Midlands Racing Association club meeting, in order to obtain race signatures for his TT course licence. With the aim to race in Northern Ireland next week, Hutchy will be checked over by the NW200 medical team before heading out on the 8.970-mile circuit for first practice.
Meanwhile teammate Johnston has enjoyed an extensive testing programme with the team and the CBR ahead of his racing debut with the squad. Feeling confident with the Fireblade package for the roads, ‘The General’ is looking forward to getting to ‘The Triangle’ for one of the fastest road races in the world.
NW200 Race Schedule:
Tuesday 15 May
Thursday 17 May
1700-2100 Evening racing
Saturday 19 May
0915-1900 Race day
Credit: Media Team @Honda Racing CBR, follow @HondaRacingCBR on Twitter.
The 2018 campaign started in earnest last week for the Honda Racing roads team as they embarked on their first pre-season test at Monteblanco in Spain, with its new rider line-up of Ian Hutchinson and Lee Johnston. Although not riding at the test, as he still continues his recovery, ‘Hutchy’ was present for all three days and worked with the team as Johnston got to grips with the Fireblade SP2.
Plagued with intermittent weather over the three days, track time was limited and it wasn’t until the final day (Wednesday 7 March) that the team and Johnston were able to get their teeth stuck into the testing programme. With Hutchy not able to ride his machine, it was over to ‘The General’ who tested both his and Hutchy’s Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2s back-to-back, as well as Johnston aboard the Honda Superstock machine. Although not riding, Hutchy was able to work with the team with feedback from Johnston on the set-up of his right-hand gear shifter.
Johnston has history already with the SP2, as in 2017 he was a reserve 24 Heures Motos rider for the Honda Endurance Racing team, but with three riders to cater for the machine set up is very different to his Fireblade for the road racing season. Working on the set-up of the bike and making it feel like his own, the team and Johnston finished the test positive with over 100 laps of the 2.76-mile circuit completed. With lap times a second quicker than previous tests at the circuit, the team are ready to continue its testing programme later this month back on UK soil at Castle Combe.