On what was his first lap of FP1, Lecuona suffered a highside at turn 16 which left last season’s WorldSBK rookie of the year confused and struggling mentally.

The Team HRC rider was unable to complete a flying lap during the opening session before eventually putting his name on the timingsheets in FP2.

However, damage was already done to Lecuona’s confidence at that stage, as he languished down the order before suffering another fall, this time a turn ten. 

"I think it’s the worst start of almost all my career, honestly," said Lecuona. “In the first lap I had this massive highside in corner 16 that I didn’t expect because I was going slow. 

"I was going slow but I just lost the rear and I could do nothing to save it. Was the same crash as last year but with the luck that I didn't have any big injuries. 

"To finish the day we tried to build again the confidence in FP2 because even in FP2 I didn’t want to ride. I was scared in that moment because it’s just the first lap and I didn’t expect this crash. 

"It's a very hard moment and mentally a big moment for me. But then we started to build and thanks to the team because they repaired the bike after it was pretty destroyed after the crash. 

"We worked alone but well, and then step-by-step we were improving the feeling and then we put new tyres and in the tenth corner it was almost the same crash but the rear didn’t catch the grip. I missed the rear but it was the same crash. 

"I made like a 360 and I can do nothing to save. It’s almost three crashes that are the same on this track. It’s honestly not a good feeling right now. I’m down [at the moment]. It’s hard to start a weekend like this."

Even more confusing for Lecuona is that the Spaniard appeared to be on the racing line, therefore it was not a case of being on the dirty part of the track which had caught out several riders including Michael Ruben Rinaldi. 

"I was on the line! I was on the line both times but just the second one I missed the rear grip," added Lecuona. 

"The worst is in FP1 in the first lap when the tyre is new. It’s one of the worst moments for me mentally."

Lecuona, who waited five minutes before joining the on-track action in FP1, wanted to do so when the track had more grip put down by other riders, however, it didn’t stop the former MotoGP rider from having the first of his two falls.  

The Spaniard concluded his media debrief by saying: "I need time to go again at full [speed] on this track after last year. With this massive crash I missed the last round in Australia and I needed one month to recover well. For this, we waited five minutes when pit lane opened to have a cleaner track. 

"Also, two days ago I was on the bed and very sick [after catching food poisoning] and my energy was not the best one. So we tried to go with calm but even to do it like this I had this massive crash."