More than four months since the opening round of the 2020 Superbike World Championship, the MIE Racing Althea Honda Team is ready to return to racing this coming weekend and compete in round two of the series at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Spain.

Taking part in his first full WorldSBK championship this season, Japanese rider Takumi Takahashi completed a two-day test session at Motorland Aragón two weeks ago, a test that served to bring both rider and team back ‘up to speed’ following the enforced break owing to Covid-19. Although not present at the test, Italian rider Lorenzo Gabellini joins the squad as of this coming weekend and will flank Takahashi for the rest of the season, having replaced Jordi Torres (unavailable due to other racing commitments). 

The CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP marks the start of a new project and, as such, it will take time for the restructured squad and its rookie riders Takahashi and Gabellini to get to grips with what is a totally new package as they compete at tracks that are, in many cases, unknown to both riders. 

The MIE Racing Althea Honda Team will be on track at 10.30am on Friday, ready for the weekend’s first free practice session.


Private: Takumi Takahashi 13

“It’s a good feeling to start racing again and I look forward to heading to Jerez this week. We completed some pre-season tests there with the 2019 bike, and it will be interesting to make a comparison now. It’s also good that there will be two of us riders in the garage now. I hope we can provide the team with as much information as possible in order to develop the bike, and I take the opportunity to welcome Lorenzo (Gabellini) to the team.”

Private: Lorenzo Gabellini 63

“I rode the 600cc bike at Jerez during last year’s winter tests, so I know the track. I actually quite liked it and was able to lap fast so it’s really good to start this adventure there. I’m obviously very happy and excited to be going out racing with the top riders in the category, but at the same time I’m ready to make proper use of this opportunity and learn as much as I possibly can from it.”