Lecuona, who just finished a very busy end to the season after continuing to replace Alex Rins in MotoGP, flew straight from Qatar to Jerez in order to test the 2024 CBR1000RR-R.
A big step forward was the hope for Honda, who have struggled to get on terms with its rivals in recent seasons, and that’s the takeaway from Lecuona.
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Speaking to WorldSBK.com after the two-day outing, Lecuona said: “I’m really happy because it’s a big surprise about the step and the bike that Japan brings us. It’s a big surprise.
“In terms of chassis, electronics, engine… everything changed a lot. We made a good step in a few areas, and in other areas we are still struggling a little bit that we need to understand better.
“What is true is that we needed to learn about the feeling of the bike a lot in these two days. I needed to change my style a lot to go fast.
“Even with the SC0, the performance was amazing. The tyre wear is really good for us; we could never do these laps at the end of the race. Really happy about this.”
One of the busiest riders in the world since the summer break, Lecuona commitments to both WorldSBK and MotoGP meant the Spaniard was consistently racing at the highest level.
Doing so aboard two under-performing machines, Lecuona said fatigue was an issue on the second day of the test.
“I’m very tired from all the travelling so on the second day, I struggled more to understand the bike,” added the Team HRC rider.
“We tried to do our best in terms of electronics, where we need to do work compared to last year to understand more new things.
“I’m quite happy but still we need to improve, we need to understand this new bike. I think it’s a really good step. Let’s see in the next test how it is.”