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The Honda World Superbike Team has completed the second and final pre-season European test of its 2017 schedule today at Portimão Autodromo do Algarve, where Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl continued their preparation for the opening round of the season on board their brand-new Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machines.
The first day of action at the Portuguese venue was characterised by a limited amount of track time available to the riders, who had to wait for the track surface to dry up after some overnight rain. Today, both riders enjoyed far better conditions, which helped them in trying to improve the feeling with their machines as they kept working hard with their crews to move forward with the testing programme.
Despite having ridden at Portimão on no more than two occasions before – the most recent being this week’s world press launch of the new Fireblade – neither Hayden nor Bradl have any racing experience at the spectacular circuit located on the southern coast of Portugal, which is back on the World Superbike calendar after one year of absence. Nevertheless, the two Honda standard bearers quickly got to grips with its elevation changes and blind crests and improved their lap times considerably before the test drew to a close.
The team will return to their Dutch headquarters in the Netherlands to get ready for the official test and season opener at Phillip Island, which will be preceded by the official team launch taking place at Salzburg’s Hangar-7 on February 6th.