Honda Endurance Racing riders ready for Spanish challenge as warm-up to Suzuka 8 Hours
24 Horas de Catalunya de Motociclismo – Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya
The Honda Endurance Racing Team is preparing for the real-life test that is the 24 Hours of Catalunya, which takes place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmeló on 11-12 July 2015.
Honda’s endurance specialists Julien Da Costa, Freddy Foray and Sébastien Gimbert will head to the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP intent on validating the vast technical development work that has been completed since Le Mans, whilst laying the foundations for the Suzuka 8 Hours later this month.
The team has been working hard on continuing to develop the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP since its last competitive outing at the 24 Heures Moto Le Mans. Twenty-four hour races are the sternest test of both man and machine, pushing every element of both performance and endurance to the limit, but both bike and riders are prepared and relishing the challenge.
Julien Da Costa and Freddy Foray are looking forward to discover the Montmeló track for the very first time, while Sébastien Gimbert will be back on a track that he knows well from the time he was racing in MotoGP.
Being the only official EWC team competing in this race, the spotlight will surely be on the Honda Endurance Racing team and its three riders, but it is a valuable opportunity for more endurance running and data collection ahead of the 38th “Coca-Cola zero” Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race which takes place on 26 July in the home of Honda.
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24 Hours of Catalunya – event schedule (local time GMT+1):
Friday 10 July
16:30-17:30 – Free practice
18:00-18:30 – Qualifying practice – Rider 1 (blue armband)
18:40-19:10 – Qualifying practice – Rider 2 (yellow armband)
19:20-19:50 – Qualifying practice – Rider 3 (red armband)
20:00-20:30 – Qualifying practice – Rider 4 (white armband)
22:00-23:30 – Night practice
Saturday 11 July
12:00-12:45 – Pit walk
13:00-13:30 – Warm Up
15:00 – Race start
Sunday 12 July
15:00 – Race finish
Last month Honda invited us to the Isle of Man TT where we went with Julien – it was a breath-taking experience, especially with John McGuinness’ victory in the Senior TT race – it was an amazing atmosphere. Now it’s time to focus back on our season; the break was quite long and I cannot wait to be back on track in Barcelona and to discover the circuit. We are taking part in a 24-hour race which is quite challenging, especially because we don’t know the track and we won’t have much practice time, but we are really looking forward to discovering the track while racing!
I haven’t had much time to rest since Le Mans because I am also racing in FSBK; this championship is keenly contested and we had several races lately. I am quite satisfied because I won two races in a row in Lédenon where my team-mates came to support me, and I am currently third in the overall standings. Then I had about ten days to rest, spend time with my family and prepare myself physically before the 24 Hours of Catalunya. To my mind this race is definitely a 24-hour test where we will try to focus on being well prepared for the Suzuka 8 Hours and on the world championship itself. The technical guys have worked a lot during this long break, so the main goal here will be to make sure that the changes made on the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP are good. Anyway I’m in a good pace and I am really looking forward to Suzuka already!
Julien Da Costa
We are going to this race without any pressure because it is a real-life test for the team, and it will help us to find answers. Freddy and I will ride the track for the first time; we will have a lot of things to learn so it’s very motivating because it is another challenge to take up. We are really looking forward to Suzuka as well, because we want to demonstrate our team and bike’s performance again. The striking moment of the last few weeks for me was our invitation to the Isle of Man TT where we were able to measure the bravery and the mind-set that these races require; these riders really deserve true respect. I also took part in my very first car race and it was a great experience.
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