MEET HONDA’S NEW TEAM MANAGER: Escamez on his path to WorldSBK, his philosophy and 2024

Friday, 9 February 2024 09:16 GMT

Jose Manuel Escamez took over the reins from Leon Camier at the end of 2023 and has now spoken about his first season as Team HRC’s team boss

There have been lots of changes at Team HRC for the 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship campaign. A new bike has been introduced and tested, and there are some new faces in the garage. One of these is Jose Manuel Escamez, who takes over the role of Team Manager from Leon Camier following the former rider’s departure at the end of the 2023 season. Escamez, for the team’s launch, spoke about his journey to his current role, the philosophy he’ll bring and much more as he embarks on a new challenge.

MOVING ACROSS: working in MotoGP™ before WorldSBK

Escamez is the third Team Manager that Honda have had since they returned to the Championship as a full-factory outfit, following in the footsteps of Jaume Colom and Camier, who each had two seasons at the helm. Explaining his route to Team HRC’s Team Manager, Escamez said: “I first worked as a mechanic in Barcelona before moving into the racing arena. Most of my racing career to date has been in MotoGP™, where I’ve had chance to work with some great riders and good teams, including several seasons with HRC already. Now, I'm very happy to be the Team Manager of Team HRC in WorldSBK and I am ready to apply all my experience to this new role. The company is the same, and the way of working is also similar, so it's been a relatively smooth transition, although there are also many new things to familiarise myself with, of course.”

THE PHILOSOPHY: “I want to ensure everyone is able to give their best”

Every team manager will have their own way of working as they look to secure the best possible results for the team. With years of experience under his belt in MotoGP™, Escamez will have found a method that works for him, and he will be hoping this works for riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge, as well as everyone else who works within the team. As someone who has held different roles, this will play a part in how Escamez works.

Expanding on his philosophy, Escamez said: “I will strive to keep the team united and working together towards the same goal. I have held various positions within a team throughout my career, both on the mechanical side and in coordination roles. This has given me the opportunity to understand people and their feelings, so I want to ensure that everyone is able to give their best for the team.”

THE CHALLENGES IN 2024: “the main challenge is to become competitive with the new bike as soon as possible”

With the introduction of a new machine, Vierge and Lecuona have been testing it with mixed emotions coming from those, with the first test largely positive but running into some problems during 2024 testing. It’s natural that a new bike comes with complications and ups and downs while everyone tries to figure out the best setup and the way to ride it. Escamez believed this would be one of the biggest challenges facing Team HRC in 2024.

“The main challenge is to become competitive with the new bike as soon as possible”, he began. “There are many updates across all areas of the machine, so we need to bring it all together and find a base setup that allows our riders to fully exploit the bike's potential. The next challenge will be to consistently compete for top-five positions and secure some podium finishes. We are aware that this is a significant challenge, considering the high level of competition in the championship, but we are working tirelessly to achieve that goal.”

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