Look out Kawasaki! Honda Europe has you in their sights, and are teaming up with Akrapovič for the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship in an effort to take the crown off team green.
Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl will campaign Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machines fitted with state-of-the art exhaust systems provided by the highly innovative and pioneering Slovenian company.
The technical partnership between the two brands is not new to the WorldSBK paddock: it was in 2000, in fact, that their joint effort led to the first World Championship title for Akrapovič, as Colin Edwards sealed the ultimate prize on board the Honda VTR1000SP1 machine. Two years later, history repeated itself with another World Superbike title win for Honda and Akrapovič.
With such a successful history together, this newly re-formed technical partnership aims for further glory around the 13 venues of the 2017 WorldSBK season.
“It is with great pleasure that Honda Motor Europe extends its technical alliance with Akrapovič, who have been a key technical partner of our Endurance, Road Racing and British Superbikes programme for many years, said Robert Watherston, Honda Motor Europe’s Head of Motorsport. With the release of the new CBR1000RR Fireblade in 2017, it is the perfect time to extend this partnership to include the WorldSBK project which is the ultimate expression of production-based racing. Our previous collaboration in the WorldSBK championship proved to be very successful, and brought Akrapovič its first World Championship in 2000. With this renewed partnership, both parties are again committed to working together to achieve the same goal of winning the world title. In terms of delivering the very highest levels of performance, innovation and quality for our Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 race machines, there is no better choice than Akrapovič.”
Akrapovič has developed a unique exhaust system which is tailored around the WorldSBK-spec version of the brand-new 2017 Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2. Made of special lightweight titanium alloys, it is designed to further boost the overall performance of the bike and give it a competitive edge for the pinnacle of production-based motorcycle racing.
“We have a proud history with Honda in WorldSBK, said Akrapovič CEO Uroš Rosa. The fact that we won our first World Championship title with them makes this renewed acquaintance a very special and significant event for all at Akrapovič. We are under no illusions that we face a big challenge, but that is something we will thrive upon and it will push us to produce the best systems we can. We already have the know-how of developing a race exhaust for Honda in Superbikes as we produced over 40 different specifications during the two-and-a-half years we worked with them in the past, so they know that we have the experience, determination and skill to create the best exhaust for their racing needs.”