Honda Racing has completed a two-day pre-Le Mans test at the Bugatti circuit in preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, which will take place in a few weeks time on 18-19 April.
All the main contenders were in Le Mans for this dress rehearsal before the 2015 season kicks off - there was no official timing for the test. The first day began on a wet track before the sun appeared in the afternoon, but cold weather conditions made the track very tricky.
Endurance specialists Freddy Foray, Julien Da Costa and Sébastien Gimbert mainly worked on the performance of the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP in race conditions. The squad also made the most of the test to perfect its tactical plan for the 24 Hour race in a few weeks time.
This test was ahead of the 24 Hours Motos launch that will be hosted in Paris tomorrow (2 April) at Goodyear Dunlop Tyres France. Freddy Foray and Julien Da Costa will attend the press conference where the teams Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP will also be displayed.
These two testing days went well for the team. We had organised a program that we followed and we even had time to perfect a few details in order to improve the bike for the riders. We were lucky to have a day on the wet and a day on the dry, which allowed us to test different tires solutions with Dunlop in order to get prepared for the race. We’re ready to get started serenely on the 24 Hours Motos.
We were really happy to be back in Le Mans because we were looking forward to comparing ourselves to the other teams. The result is satisfying; we worked well on the electronics during the whole winter. We still have a few things to set-up, especially regarding the chassis; the feeling is not perfect on the bike, however our times pleasantly surprised us, we were lapping in the same times as the other teams, so this is very positive.
Julien Da Costa
The forecast has been very complicated and made things difficult for us to have a good working base. We decided to go out on track on the wet as well as on the dry, because in a 24-hour race, we are aware that it might rain. On the dry, we made a big step forward in only two days. The Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP works really well on every aspect and the feeling on the bike is good. We are already faster than last year and it was one of our aims, we can’t wait for the race.
This pre-Le Mans test was very positive. Unfortunately I crashed out in the morning of the first day and it took me a little time to feel fully confident again on the bike. The team woks remarkably well. At this time, we succeeded in setting-up a bike suiting well the three of us; we still have a few things to adjust in order to maximise the potential of the bike, but we feel ready to get started with the 24h Motos week.