Leon Haslam knows the world of Honda very well. The early days of his career in the world championship were linked to the Tokyo manufacturer and he has raced a large part of his career both in BSB and in the SBK world championship on a Honda CBR, a motorcycle that he has also twice taken to victory at the Suzuka 8 Hours, in 2013 and 2014.
In 2020 a new chapter in the history of the Fireblade started for Honda and Haslam is one of the two riders chosen together with Alvaro Bautista to develop and bring to the races a completely revolutionized CBR 1000 RR-R compared to the past. The Briton made a good race debut at Phillip Island on the SBK version of Honda’s flagship super sports bike, but in this video, he gives us his impressions after putting the road version of this splendid bike through its paces at the Losail circuit.
"The bike’s amazing – said Haslam - I’ve had a long history with Honda, I think I’ve ridden pretty much every Fireblade they’ve built over the years. Honestly, this one is so exciting, one to be able to race it, and also in the development of the bike, the speed and handling, it’s a pleasure to ride. "
There are many elements that impressed Leon, but one in particular makes this CBR special.
"There have been a lot of upgrades, including the wings obviously are a development from MotoGP and are fantastic. You can feel the difference when you are out there. We’ve been doing a lot of track riding and the closeness of this with my race bike is unbelievable. I never rode a road bike that is so close to my race bike, for me that’s fantastic."
In this version of the Fireblade, the positive characteristics of the previous model have remained but there is a lot of extra power.
"Honda has always had really good handling and really good change of direction. Now with this extra horsepower that you have and the kick that it gives you off the turns, along with all the electronics obviously to control that power, gives you the confidence but also the excitement as well. For me the visual aspect of this bike is unbelievable, especially the wings and the mean aspect of it. Honda is a company that has always got a lot of history in racing and this is a bike that is ready to race and have fun with".
This is the video of our test of the Honda CBR 1000 RR-R on the Losail track