This first day of testing in Barcelona was also the Honda HRC team's first post-Covid outing with the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade. The first day ended with a double fifth place for Alvaro Bautista (both in the morning and in the afternoon) with a gap of almost six-tenths from the best time of Scott Redding. Alvaro, unlike many other SBK riders, already knows this track and so he was able to make a comparison between MotoGP and Superbike.
“I haven't been here in Barcelona for two years - Alvaro told us at the end of the day - It seems that the grip has improved compared to the past, I don't know why. Compared to the MotoGP bike, on this track, the Superbike seems a little lazy on the straight, which is really long. For the rest, however, I did not notice too many differences ".
Today a double fifth place, what feelings did you have as soon as you got back on this bike?
“It all seemed too fast; it was incredible. In the past few weeks, I have been training with the supermotard and on flat tracks and I thought I hadn't lost my confidence in the bikes, but it wasn't like that. In any case, after a few laps I regained all the right control and slowly I managed to lap with good times ".
How do you rate the work you are doing with the development of this new bike?
“In these days in Barcelona we are using more or less the same bike used in Australia. In Phillip Island we collected a lot of data with the team and in Japan they worked a lot during the lockdown, we have a lot of new stuff to try but these days we just want to lap and do kilometres, I will try all the new components at Aragon in the next tests. I don't know if the new parts will help us, but I know what we need to improve. "
You said they worked hard in Japan during the break for the coronavirus. Do you think that the fact that they didn’t stop, unlike for example the Ducati team, can help you in some way?
"We at Honda were at a disadvantage at the beginning of the year, now perhaps we have gained something and are closer. The gap we had from our opponents in just three months is difficult, we have certainly taken a step forward, but we are not yet ready to fight for the win ".