New WorldSBK Operations Manager for Honda
2017 was a disaster for Honda in WorldSBK in so many ways.
The loss of Nicky Hayden was certainly a massive blow to their campaign with the new Fireblade, but even taking that terrible blow into consideration the fact that Honda finished rock bottom in the manufacturers standings was unprecedented.
With only 113 points from the entire 2017 season, Honda even finished 55-points behind MV Agusta.
It was obvious that many things needed to change ahead of season 2018 and one of the first indications came this week with Honda Motor Europe appointing Chris Pike as its new Operations Manager for the FIM World Superbike Championship (WorldSBK).
Pike inherits the position vacated by Marco Chini last month and will manage Honda’s operational and technical support in the WorldSBK paddock, including the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team and Triple M Racing Honda World Superbike Team squads.
Leon Camier joins Jake Gagne in the Red Bull Honda World Superbike squad for season 2018 while PJ Jacobsen will run under the Triple M banner.
Chris Pike – WorldSBK Operations Manager, Honda Motor Europe
“I am very happy to be stepping up to the role of Honda Motor Europe’s Operations Manager in World Superbike; a championship that holds many good memories for me. Although it is a return to a championship I know very well, this a fresh, new challenge for me and I’m looking forward to applying all that I’ve learned over the years to help Honda be a force in this very competitive series.”
Pike brings to the role a wealth of technical experience in racing, having worked within the Honda family across a unique blend of championships including WorldSBK, MotoGP, Endurance World Championship and British Superbike.
Pike’s time in WorldSBK dates back to the very first race at Donington in 1988 and he was part of Honda’s world championship winning campaigns in 1997, 2000 and 2002. More recently he worked with Honda as a crew chief in WorldSBK from 2012 to 2014 before making the move to MotoGP.
Pike starts his new role with immediate effect ahead of the first round of the 2018 WorldSBK season opener at Phillip Island, Australia from February 23-25.
Robert Watherston – Head of Motorsport, Honda Motor Europe
“Chris has been a part of the Honda Racing family for over twenty years and his vast and varied experience will be a real asset to our World Superbike operation. With Honda now having three CBR1000RR machines on the grid, expert oversight from both a technical and operational perspective is critical. In Chris I believe we have the ideal candidate to move this project forward strongly and help us achieve our goals.”