It was a tale of mixed fortunes for Team HRC in Saitama over the weekend with the competitive debut of the Honda CR Electric Prototype, Honda’s first participation in an official race with an electric motorcycle.
Ridden by Trey Canard, the fiercest competition in the event came from recently crowned 2023 IA1 (450 cc) Japanese MX Champion Jay Wilson.
The Yamaha mounted Australian won the first race over Canard by 20-seconds, however the American’s fastest lap was only six-tenths off Wilson’s best.
The pair actually clashed heavily in the second bout while tussling for the lead which saw Canard unable to continue due to the throttle end of his bars getting stuck and damaged in the rear wheel of Wilson’s YZ450F.
With repairs made Canard came back in the third heat to score the holeshot and built up a small lead early on before crashing out on the rutted track.
Nonetheless, with the opportunity provided by racing to learn, develop and prove the prototype machine in the heat of battle for the first time, Honda deemed the experiment a successful and encouraging debut for their CR Elecrtric Prototype.
“This weekend was definitely a big challenge for me but it was a great race for our development. Each time I was on the track we improved the motorcycle and the CR Electric Prototype team adapted to the challenge.
“We had some shines of brilliance as a team, the starts being one of them with two of the three holeshots. There were also some sections on the track that were very impressive and that makes me excited for the future of this motorcycle.
“I’m disappointed to not finish all of the motos after all of the hard work the team has put in but I think we showed that the potential of the bike is quite high especially for our very first attempt at racing. I’m grateful to be a part of this effort and I’m very proud of each and every person who has worked so hard.”
Taichi Honda – Team HRC Team Manager
“First of all, I would like to thank the development team and everyone involved for preparing the CR Electric Prototype to be ready for competition in such a short time.
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