The Honda Endurance Racing Team has announced that Honda’s endurance specialists Julien Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Sébastien Gimbert will head to the Circuit de Barcelona in Montmeló to participate to the 24 hours of Catalunya on 11-12 July 2015.
This event is not part of the FIM Endurance World Championship calendar, but is an important opportunity for the whole team to take part in a real-life test with a 24-hour non-stop race.
As part of the team’s testing strategy, this test will provide Honda Endurance Racing with valuable track time and the collection of important data on the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP before the Bol d’Or, which is also a 24-hour race run in similar conditions.
The 24 Horas de Catalunya de Motociclismo race takes place only two weeks ahead of the Suzuka 8 Hours and will give the riders a boost before heading to Japan for the second round of the Endurance World Championship on 26 July.
Unfortunately during Le Mans 24 Hours race we had some issues with the bike and we still have a lot of work to do to try to eliminate those issues. The next race of the calendar is the Suzuka 8 Hours and it is important to get prepared before this race, which is one of the reasons why we have decided to compete in the 24 Hours of Barcelona. This race will give us the opportunity to test the modifications that we’ve made, and it is also important to highlight the fact that it is a good thing that we can compete against other teams and participate in an event that is heavily supported by Dunlop, that is one of our team’s major sponsors.
That is great news because it shows that everybody at Honda is really motivated. For us this race won’t count for the championship but we really need this test to get to know where we are with the development of the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP, so this is very positive.
It is a test race that will hopefully help us collect a considerable amount of information; we’ll try to give our best and to push the bike as much as if it was an EWC race. I already raced at the Circuit de Barcelona when I was in 500cc Grand Prix, I know this track quite well, and it has numerous corners that require a lot of agility and motor function. Regarding the abrasiveness of the track, Barcelona is very close to the Circuit Paul Ricard and this will help us a lot to work on the chassis of the Honda ahead of the Bol d’Or. The Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP has gone under many evolutions since the last test – these are little details on paper, but end-to-end all these changes are very important to get prepared for an endurance race.
Julien Da Costa
This Barcelona race is the perfect occasion to get to know if the bike is able to last for 24 hours non-stop in extreme race conditions with the heat. The Barcelona Catalunya circuit is an amazing circuit on which I’ve never raced before, but the very nice part of it is that it is a pretty big track, with a very long straight that fulfils the conditions to offer us a real-life test before the Bol d’Or.