What was Nagashima testing for Honda at Aragon?

Wednesday, 30 August 2023 16:20 GMT

The Japanese rider was on track alongside Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge as Honda tested with their test team

The Aragon test for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship field that travelled to MotorLand Aragon gave Team HRC a chance to run their test team alongside regular riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge. Tetsuta Nagashima was on the CBR1000RR-R machine for the two-day test as he worked on the bike as well as with the race riders to help make gains and turn Honda into a consistent front-running manufacturer after a tricky 2023 so far.

The season started well for Honda in Australia and Indonesia as they consistently battled for top six finishes including Vierge scoring his maiden podium at Mandalika. However, since then, results have been harder for the Japanese manufacturer to come by. At times, it has been a struggle to break into the top ten for Lecuona and Vierge although they returned there at Most in all three races for the first time since the Emilia-Romagna Round in June.

At the Aragon test, Nagashima was drafted in to help with their testing programme. The Japanese rider was last on both days of the test but clocked 165 laps across Tuesday and Wednesday as he looked to help develop the CBR1000RR-R machine. Despite trickier conditions on day one due to the wind, Nagashima was able to help and an improved feeling on Wednesday, where conditions were less windy, gave him a better reference and more consistent lap times.

Nagashima had to adjust to the bike and Pirelli tyres during the test and he was more comfortable on the second day compared to the first with more experience under his belt. This enabled him to work on solving problems the CBR1000RR-R has to help refine it into a more complete package, which could have an impact both for the end of the 2023 campaign and looking ahead into next year and beyond.

Reviewing his test and explaining the benefit of the test team being at the track, Nagashima said: “I had a good feeling today about the track and the Pirelli tyres. Still some small problems where I struggled a little bit. I felt comfortable. The morning was a little bit less windy, and I could test, I could compare some new things. It felt better. In the afternoon, it was a bit more difficult because of the wind. It was a bit like day one. We kept the lap time more consistent than day one. I feel quite positive about the bike and what the test team understands. We have to understand what we need and where we have to improve. This test, they understand what we have to do and which problems we have to solve, and we have to work for this programme. I hope they solve it for next year. We were testing everything but especially for turning and acceleration. We are struggling a lot on the exit of corners, Xavi and Iker especially, I think.”

Watch WorldSBK action throughout 2023 using the WorldSBK VideoPass – now 50% off!