Current Model Falling Short on the Racetracksby Harry Fisher, on
Honda is rumoured to be ready to launch an updated CBR1000RR-R Fireblade to chase World Superbike Championship glory after the current model has failed to do just that.
Updated Honda CBR1000RR-R On The Way?
When Honda released the massively upgraded Fireblade, with aerodynamic winglets, MotoGP-inspired chassis and brand new 999.7cc engine, in 2019, it was with one goal in mind: World Superbike Championship success. The high-spec, homologation special SP version took the idea even further.
The problem is, it hasn’t worked. A single podium finish for Alvaro Bautista at Aragon in 2020 is all that HRC has to show for its efforts. Now, rumours are circulating that Honda is revamping the Fireblade SP into the SP2 for 2022 in another bid to return to winning ways in the WSBK arena.
It’s not that the current SP is bad: there’s no particular weakness anywhere but Honda is obviously hoping that incremental improvements will improve performance. Areas of focus will be reduced weight and more power, alongside top-shelf components such as Ohlins suspension in place of Showa and Brembo brakes in place of Nissin. For homologation, 500 SP2s will have to be built.
Throughout the paddock, gradual evolution of racing models is the norm, with updates every couple of years. Both Ducati and Kawasaki have gone this route to the Panigale and ZX-10RR models respectively.