Team Honda Racing has commenced its 2011 Australian Superbike campaign in a two-day test at Eastern Creek alongside BMW’s World Superbike squad this week.
Despite lap times not being released by the team, riders Wayne Maxwell and Jamie Stauffer has both deemed the test a success in conditions that reached a track temperature of over 50 degrees.
For 2011 Team Honda Racing has opted to use Motec for their engine management system and data logging, while they’ll also use a new range from SMART Racing Components including 25mm fork internals and complete rear suspension units.
“It was a very successful start to the year for Team Honda Racing,” Maxwell commented. “I felt comfortable straight away on the bike which was prepared 100 percent.
“The new SMART Racing Products that we tested in the CBR1000RR11 worked well immediately and that is a real credit to Motologic. My new crew chief Shaun Clarke is great and easy to work with so basically I think the season is looking very promising.”
The test marked Stauffer’s official ASBK return to a traditional inline four-cylinder following a season on the Ducati 1198 in 2010, settling in after taking part in The 6 Hour with Team Honda Racing last December.
“Although it was incredibly hot and humid at Eastern Creek for the two days, it was great to start testing the CBR1000RR11 and get more of an idea of what to expect this year,” former double ASBK champion Stauffer said.
“I felt good right from the first lap. We are working with a lot of new things at the moment and this first test has shown overall the bike is coming together to be a really competitive package. I am looking forward to the second test at Phillip Island next week.
“It was also great to see some our sponsors come out to the circuit to watch our team at work. Doric Products is one of Team Honda Racing’s main sponsors and to have their support even at a test is just great.”
Team principle Paul Free also marked the test a success as the Motologic operation returns to Honda following a season away from the brand.
“Going into the test we really didn’t know what to expect as we had so many new components on the bike that we’ve never used or tested before,” Free said. “We battled with the heat as it was extremely hot and humid both days at the circuit and it was really tiring for the team and in particular the riders.
“We tried to keep the number of laps to a minimum in order to maintain their focus. Both Wayne and Jamie did a fantastic job in assisting the team to develop their bikes.
“I am extremely happy with the development so far with the new Motec engine management system and the bike in general. Overall, I think we left Eastern Creek with quite a good base to take to our next test.
“We can now return to our workshop, look at the data and information we gathered and further develop the motorcycles at the next test at Phillip Island on 2-3 February into what I hope will be a championship-winning machine.”
Sources indicate that Stauffer was narrowly the fastest rider of the pair during the test, with the freshly resurfaced areas deemed to be faster than previous times at the Creek.