Pata Honda’s World Superbike pairing of Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea ended their riding year this week with a play on Honda’s new-for-2014 Fireblade SP at the Losail circuit in Qatar. The lastest and sharpest version of the bike that Haslam and Rea race for the Pata Honda team in the World Superbike championship was being presented by Honda Motor Europe to motorcycle journalists from all over the world.
Boasting front and rear adjustable Öhlins suspension and Brembo monoblock brakes, the new Fireblade SP also features a blueprinted engine and a single seat unit to offer owners even greater focus on trackday action. For Haslam and Rea the launch also offered an opportunity to re-acquaint themselves with the Losail circuit which returns to the World Superbike championship calendar in 2014 for the first time since 2009.
“What a week!”, said Haslam after returning from Qatar. “It was the best fun ever to ride around Losail with all the journalists on the Fireblade SP. It’s an awesome machine and the circuit lets you have a lot of fun, so I ended up doing about 300 laps, I think!”
Rea, who flew in from Australia, where he is spending the winter, also enjoyed himself, saying: “It was like ‘a-smile-a-mile’ and I had great fun with Leon, his dad Ron and my TT legend mate, John McGuinness. Sometimes I just think to myself: ‘I have the best job in the world!’”