Iker Lecuona has been given the hurry-up by Tech3 KTM MotoGP team boss Herve Poncharal after another back-of the grid performance in Portimao.

Lecuona, whose 2022 KTM seat is already rumoured to be under pressure from Moto2 star Remy Gardner, finally scored his first point of the season with a distant 15th place.

The young Spaniard, who underwent arm pump surgery between Qatar and Portimao, crossed the line 50.6s from Yamaha race winner Fabio Quartararo and 12s from the next closest rider, Aprilia rookie Lorenzo Savadori. Only Miguel Oliveira, who crashed, finished behind him.

Lecuona's new team-mate Danilo Petrucci also scored his first points of the year in Portugal, courtesy of a 13th place, and was 29.8s from Quartararo.

“You always have to find the bright side of the whole weekend and the positive side is, we got our two guys, Danilo and Iker in the points, which are the first points of the season," said Poncharal.

"[But] if we want to be completely objective, we are far. Qualifying was difficult, the start of the race was difficult as well.

“Danilo had, I think a good tyre choice with the hard front and rear. He was the only one and we were expecting him to be maybe in a better shape the last 10 laps than the others. We could see him catching the guys in front of him, but not enough. He ended up 0.176 behind Marini.

"I’d still like to thank him for pushing as much as he can at the moment. It is still a learning process. We need to understand more and more how we can help him to be feeling more comfortable and to be giving him better sensations to push more."

But Lecuona's performances during his second season with the team and bike are much more of a worry.

“Iker, I would say, the only positive is that we got one point, but honestly, I don’t know what to say at the moment. I’m lost for words and I think he is lost for everything," Poncharal said.

"When I remember Iker at the very beginning last year, he was full of energy, sometimes doing mistakes, but pushing. This year for some reason there is nothing that works, there is no sparkle. So, yes, we got a point, but very, very far down.

“We need to talk, we need to debrief. We saw KTM is competitive. Brad Binder ended up fifth, 1.8 seconds to P2, which is another strong performance after Qatar. So clearly, the bike is there.

"We don’t want to talk too much about technical things. We need to give our riders a better feeling, we need to make them a bit hungrier and let’s hope that will happen in Jerez, which is the fourth round of the Championship.

"It is already the fourth round and everybody needs to wake up and push.”

Lecuona took a best race result of ninth place last season.

 

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