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by David Swarts
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from the MotoGP paddock at Phillip Island, 2006 MotoGP World Champion and
current Ten Kate Honda World Superbike racer Nicky Hayden said that the
new 2017 Honda CBR1000RR SP streetbike is impressive, very light and
better in some ways than the Honda he raced in the 2016 Suzuka 8-Hours
held at the end of July.
got to ride the new CBR1000RR about a month ago at Valencia,” Hayden
exclusively told Roadracingworld.com. “It was just for videos and photos,
so there was a lot of turning around and riding it back and forth
through the same corner trying to get the shot, but I did get to ride it
hard enough to get a feel for it. It was a full streetbike with street
tires and all that, but it was really nice.”
said the first thing the director of the shoot asked for was the
highlight of the video: Footage of Hayden sliding the new CBR1000RR SP
and laying down black lines of rubber on the track surface. But Hayden
initially wasn’t very optimistic about getting the shot they were
looking for out of the street machine.
showed me video from a real racebike,” said Hayden. “I told them, ‘I
don’t know how easy that’s going to be. That’s a real MotoGP racebike in
real race conditions laying down black lines. We’ll see what we can
actually, the power on it was so smooth and the traction control
switches were right on my thumb. So I could dial it down to where I
still had a little bit to keep me out of big trouble but enough to be
able to lay down some black lines for them.”
asked what things about the newest CBR1000RR SP stood out the most to
him, Hayden’s answer offered a very surprising perspective.
would say the thing that stood out the most for me was the electronic
shifter and the fly-by-wire throttle,” he said. “For me, it felt like a
real racebike and actually better than the bike I raced at Suzuka
[8-Hours]. With the rules, the bike I raced in Suzuka, we weren’t
allowed to use fly-by-wire throttle. So on corner entry you had to use
the clutch and blip the throttle and do all that stuff I hadn’t done in
years. But on this streetbike it did all the cutting for me on upshifts
at corner exit and downshifts on corner entry. So I thought that was a
huge advancement. And I would say how light it felt. It definitely feels
says at this point it’s difficult to judge what the new Honda will be
like in race trim, especially when compared to the heady competition in
the FIM Superbike World Championship, but he and his team are looking
forward to the opportunity.
always asks me to compare it to my racebike,” said Hayden. “It’s really
hard to compare it to my full racebike on race tires after doing a few
laps for a photo shoot, but I was definitely impressed.
it’s just a matter of letting the team get it as soon as possible.
That’s really the thing that we’re up against now, because our season
starts in February and at the moment there’s only prototypes. Ten Kate
haven’t got their hands on it yet, and Ten Kate has to do it all.
There’s no [ready-to-ride] racebike just showing up from Japan. They’re
going to have a busy winter.
definitely hope it can help us be more competitive next year, but we
know no one sits still. We saw that firsthand at Jerez. The time I
qualified with this year would’ve put me on pole last year, but this
year I was down in fifth. It’s clear that racing is like life: Nothing
sits still, the target’s always moving.”