Team HRC looks to continue the positive trend at new WorldSBK track Barcelona-Catalunya2020-09-16 01:57
Just over a week since round 5 at Motorland Aragón, Team HRC now prepares for the sixth Superbike World Championship round, scheduled to take place this coming weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmeló, Spain.
Although a permanent fixture on the MotoGP calendar, the Barcelona facility will be hosting the World Superbikes for the very first time this season, with many of the field having little to no experience of racing at this particular track.
Team HRC rider Alvaro Bautista knows the circuit well from his MotoGP days, while Leon Haslam has raced at the track in the past but not for many years. The team completed a two-day test at the circuit just after the lockdown period, along with many of the other WorldSBK teams, but considering the limited track data available to them, Friday’s practice sessions will be more important than ever when it comes to bike set-up preparation.
Both Bautista, who scored the team’s first podium finish aboard the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP at Aragón and was a strong podium contender throughout the Teruel round’s three races, and team-mate Haslam, who gained his best result of the season so far (fourth) during the last race, are looking forward to continuing the positive trend at Barcelona.
The first free practice session will get underway on Friday at 10.30am local time, while the two Superbike races and the Tissot Superpole race will play out over the weekend, with Sunday’s Race 2 taking place an hour later than is customary, at 3.00pm local time.
Weekend schedule (CET):
10.30 – 11.20 – SBK Free Practice 1
15.00 – 15.45 – SBK Free Practice 2
9.00 – 9.20 – SBK Free Practice 3
11.00 – 11.25 – Superpole
14.00 – SBK Race 1
9.00 – 9.15 – SBK Warm-up
11.00 – SBK Superpole Race
15.00 – SBK Race 2
Alvaro Bautista 19
“I think our target for Catalunya remains the same, to try and continue the positive trend towards progressively better performance. We are on a bike development path and are improving our feeling with the bike step by step. At Aragón we had two strong weekends where we were able to be competitive. It was a pity about the crashes of course but when you are pushing at the limit, these things can happen. Within the team, we are all very motivated and our goal is to try and be as competitive as we have been during the last rounds, and perhaps even find that little extra that would prevent us from having to ride every lap on the limit. We are really looking forward to Catalunya and to find some good sensations right from Friday.”
Leon Haslam 91
“I’m looking forward to the Catalunya round this weekend. I haven’t raced at this track for 18 years, so a long, long time ago but I’m excited to see the circuit featuring on the SBK calendar. We completed a useful test at the track not long ago and that gave us time to do the kind of set-up work we don’t have time for over a race weekend. Since that test, we’ve continued to make consistent steps forward, getting ever closer to our targets. The Barcelona track used to be one of my favourites, and it’s also the team’s home race so it would be great to score some good results here. And if we can maximise what we have right now, I think we might be able to challenge for the podium this weekend.”
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Carrer Mas Moreneta, 08160 Montmeló, Barcelona, Spain Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
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