Important setup details. This is the topic of the meeting that has been going on for a few hours now in the back of the Honda HRC team's box in Barcelona, in connection with Japan and which has kept Bautista and Haslam inactive for the whole morning. While their opponents are taking advantage of every minute, the CBRs have remained silent.
Riders and engineers are discussing various adjustments with their Japanese colleagues, who have remained at home due to travel restrictions for the coronavirus, and who during the lockdown period worked almost relentlessly to meticulously analyse the data accumulated during the first round in Australia. The result of this analysis work will be the new components for the CBR1000 RR-R, ready to go, but which are set to debut during the next Aragon tests.
Yesterday afternoon, both Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam had talked to us about trying to regain confidence with the bike again after the lockdown and the need to continue notching up the kilometres before trying all the material that HRC will make available to them. The most important new stuff, as mentioned, will probably be brought along to the next tests at Aragon but who knows whether or not this prolonged meeting will not lead to a concrete change already in the afternoon today in Barcelona.
Alvaro Bautista finished day-1 with a double fifth place while Leon Haslam was the protagonist of a highside in the morning and ended the day with 11th place in the afternoon.
However, this is a very curious situation that leads to all sorts of thoughts, and, in the paddock, there are those observers who are murmuring that the real reasons for this prolonged pause may be very different…