Honda SBK riders out to make early scores at Losail
A strong first season on a Honda in World Superbike took 2004 World Superbike Champion James Toseland (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) to overall second place, and at Losail on Saturday 24th February, Toseland will
take his first steps down a road he hopes lead back to ultimate championship success.
Teamed up with former 250cc Grand Prix race winner Roberto Rolfo (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR), Toseland is but one of six supported Honda riders in the championship, riding the latest development of the CBR1000RR Fireblade, launched as a new model in 2006.
A strong Honda Superbike push in 2007 includes not only the renamed Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team, but also the DFX Corse Honda squad, running Michel Fabrizio (DFX Corse Honda CBR1000RR) and new signing Steve Martin (DFX Corse Honda CBR1000RR) plus another two fast Australian riders, Karl Muggeridge (Alto Evolution Honda CBR1000RR) and World Supersport race winner for Honda in 2004, Joshua Brookes, (Alto Evolution Honda CBR1000RR). Each Honda Superbike team runs their own choices of engine tuning, suspension components and support technologies, and thus each has embarked upon their own series of winter tests.
Toseland is looking for an even better start than last year, especially after a good off-season of development with a team he slotted straight into at the start of the 2006 championship.
“I have been looking forward to the first race since I finished so strongly at the end of last year”, said Toseland.
“I won the first race o fthe season in Qatar in 2006, which was a big surprise to everyone – including myself – particularly as I had switched to Honda after being with a rival manufacturer for five years. This put us in a good position to battle for the championship for the rest of the year and this it the kind of start I am hoping for again. I want to keep the winning streak going. The development of the bike in pre-season testing has been really strong. After the final test in Valencia last week, I think we are ready to go to Qatar and be capable of winning. We didn't have much to test in Spain but it's nice to have a bit of a ride-out only 11 days before the first race.”
Roby Rolfo's first year on a Honda Superbike will doubtless feature a steep early learning curve, but he is a big fan of the generally fast Losail circuit, and knows this should help his first weekend's chances.
“For the first race of the championship I am very focused on understanding and applying everything we have learned during the winter testing”, stated Rolfo. “I have learned a different riding style and I am really happy with the progress that I have made with Hannspree Ten Kate Honda. Qatar is a track that I like very much because I have always had good results there. I'm glad that the first race is there because hopefully I can start the series well and carry this on through the rest of the championship.”
Honda Motor Sport