Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl have officially unveiled the brand-new Honda Fireblade CBR1000RR for 2017 along with title sponsor Red Bull. After years of toil with an aging machine, the Ten Kate squad will run the new machine for the first time this season and launched their new look at Hangar-7 in Salzburg on Monday.
Hayden will be looking to build on a promising rookie WorldSBK campaign last year which saw him claim victory in Malaysia and the American is expected the competition to be tougher than ever.
“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.”
Bradl moves across from MotoGP after five years in the premier class of Grand Prix racing and the former Moto2 champion believes the partnership with Red Bull signals the team’s intent for 2017.
“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.”
The 2017 Superbike World Championship gets underway on February 25/26 at Phillip Island in Australia.