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SBK, Escamez: "Honda on the podium in a few races? Unrealistic, but it's doable"

"We are behind expectations partly because of the regulations. Our ambition is to always finish in the top 10 and reduce the gap to the winner." Vierge: "Weaknesses? We are working on everything, but traction penalizes us."

SBK: Escamez:

Honda is trudging along, and unfortunately for it, not only in MotoGP. In SBK in fact, things are not going any better; on the contrary, the situation regarding the manufacturer propping up the table is exactly the same.

Officially re-entering the production-based racing championship in 2020, it has never been able to insert itself in the top positions, and in spite of a major upgrade the CBR1000RR underwent over the past winter, the results are continuing to fall short. The question that arises is how come. How can a company of its caliber fail to find the key to resolving this impasse?

An attempt to answer this question was made by HRC team manager Jose Escamez, who recently took over from Leon Camier. "The plans have not gone as expected, but I firmly believe that we can turn the situation around and get where we aspire, " he said during an interview with our cousins at Motorsport.com.

Also aware of the shortcomings is one of Honda's riders, namely Xavi Vierge. "Our weaknesses? Certainly not top speed, but traction, which makes it impossible to exploit the potential of the engine. We move well in a straight line, at high revs, but when they drop we are in trouble. Lately we have implemented stability under braking, but as soon as you accelerate, the rear wheel spins," was the Catalan's analysis.

The manufacturer is focusing on many areas to salvage what can be saved. "The interventions are affecting electronics, chassis and set-upPersonally, I am also trying to change my riding style, however, for now we have not gained any advantages," he revealed.

For the 27-year-old, however, it would be wrong to call the Fireblade 2024 project to be thrown away. "It has its qualities, however, so far we have not been able to bring them out. Worse than 2023? I don't know. Certainly the others have improved," was his judgment. And the fact that teammate Iker Lecuona complains about the same issues does not help. "On the one hand it's positive, on the other hand it's negative riding differently and also having different physiques. That said, I'm not worried. Everyone in the team is motivated and I feel their support."

Returning to Escamez, he was quick to distance himself from the voices against. "The motorcycle is proving its worth in other categories, starting with endurance. Here the difficulties are partly to blame for the regulations," he added, also absolving Pirelli.

Despite the critical issues, optimism is the order of the day. "Getting on the podium in a few races is not a mirage, although more realistically we would like to always finish inside the top 10. Another goal would be to reduce the gap to the winner. We'd like to get below ten seconds of disadvantage," the boss finally declared.

 

Translated by Julian Thomas

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