Red Bull Honda unveiled the World Superbike team at Hangar -7 facility in Salzburg, Austria. Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl will be riding the brand new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2. The event was shared live to the fans and motorsport enthusiasts via social media online platform HondaProRacing Facebook Page and www.RedBull-Honda.com website.
During the event, Nicky Hayden, Rider says, “It’s a new year with a new bike, new title partner and new team mate, so there are definitely many changes ahead and a lot of things to look forward to. This is my second year in World Superbike so I hope to take the experience I made last year and take it up to the next level. I’m really glad to get back together with Red Bull, who I have represented in the past, and it’s a great opportunity for me. We have to focus now on the job ahead and work as hard as we can in order to be ready for the season opener. The level of the competition is higher than ever and we have a big job ahead of us, but everybody is really motivated and I cannot wait to get started.”
“I’m really looking forward to the new season! It’s a whole new experience for me, and a new championship where I’ve never raced before. It’s going to be a very interesting partnership with Honda and Red Bull, which is undoubtedly an amazing brand, and one that has been supporting me for my whole racing career. I’m really happy to be a Red Bull athlete and even happier now that it has also become the team’s title partner. We have the chance to represent the brand in each and every event all around the world, so I’m really excited about that. We have a new Fireblade for the season, so it will take a little bit of time to dial it in but we’ll do our best to take it to the top as soon as possible. All in all it’s a great project and step by step we will make it a successful one.” says Stefan Bradl, Rider.
Marco Chini, Honda’s WorldSBK Operations Manager says, “This new season comes with a lot of anticipation for several good reasons: we have a new title partner in Red Bull, we will field the new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 and put it in the hands of two incredibly gifted and experienced in Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl. We are all extremely motivated for this new chapter and committed to battle at the sharp end of the field. I would like to personally thank all sponsors, partners and everyone involved for helping make all of this possible. I’m confident that 2017 is going to be a great year for the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team.”
Ronald ten Kate, Honda WorldSBK team manager says, “We are all very excited about our new venture as the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team. The start of the season in Australia is just around the corner and we are working extremely hard to be ready for the racing debut of the all-new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2. The bike is a welcome arrival and a big step forward in terms of performance potential. Although it’s still early days, we have a full-scale plan of development in order to get it to the front. Nicky and Stefan are two of the best riders in the world and I’m sure they will extract the maximum from it!“
Earlier, Honda Motor Europe has announced their partnership with Akrapovic for the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship 2017. Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl’s Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machines will get equipped with the newly designed Akrapovic exhaust systems.
This is not the first time Honda and Akrapovic join together. In 2000 WorldSBK, Colin Edwards won the race with Honda VTR1000Sp1 machine and after two years there was an another win for Honda and Akrapovic. For 2017, Akrapovic has developed a unique exhaust system made of special lightweight titanium alloys for Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 to further boost the overall performance of the bike. With their previous victory record, Honda and Akrapovic join again for 2017 WorldSBK season going to happen in 13 venues.
Robert Watherston – Honda Motor Europe, Head of Motorsport
“It is with great pleasure that Honda Motor Europe extends its technical alliance with Akrapovič, who have been a key technical partner of our Endurance, Road Racing and British Superbikes programme for many years. With the release of the new CBR1000RR Fireblade in 2017, it is the perfect time to extend this partnership to include the WorldSBK project which is the ultimate expression of production-based racing. Our previous collaboration in the WorldSBK championship proved to be very successful and brought Akrapovič its first World Championship in 2000. With this renewed partnership, both parties are again committed to working together to achieve the same goal of winning the world title. In terms of delivering the very highest levels of performance, innovation, and quality for our Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 race machines, there is no better choice than Akrapovič.”
Uroš Rosa – Akrapovič CEO
“We are delighted to announce this new partnership with Honda in World Superbikes and to extend our already successful partnership we have enjoyed for many years with Honda in EWC and BSB. We have a proud history with Honda in WorldSBK, and the fact that we won our first World Championship title with them makes this renewed acquaintance a very special and significant event for all at Akrapovič. We are under no illusions that we face a big challenge, but that is something we will thrive upon and it will push us to produce the best systems we can. We already have the know-how of developing a race exhaust for Honda in Superbikes as we produced over 40 different specifications during the two-and-a-half years we worked with them in the past, so they know that we have the experience, determination, and skill to create the best exhaust for their racing needs.”