Iker Lecuona ruled out of Phillip Island WorldSBK season-opener

Iker Lecuona has been ruled out of the Australian WorldSBK round at Phillip Island.

Iker Lecuona, Australian WorldSBK, 23 February
Iker Lecuona, Australian WorldSBK, 23 February

Despite a valiant attempt to ride in both WorldSBK practice sessions on Friday, Iker Lecuona has since been declared unfit.

The factory Honda rider suffered a nasty crash in testing as he highsided from his CBR1000RR-R.

Lecuona suffered a dislocated shoulder as a result before taking part in today’s limited sessions.

Laps were at a premium as rain fell just before both sessions began, although that didn’t stop the new track surface from yielding lap records.

Andrea Locatelli was the first rider to dip beneath the existing lap record, before Alex Lowes and Nicolo Bulega did the same in FP2.

But for Lecuona, an already difficult pre-season will now be followed by a non-score in Phillip Island as he will miss all three races. 

Disappointed to cut his weekend short, Lecuona said: “I tried to ride this morning, but the wet track conditions meant I was only able to complete four laps, and was already experiencing pain in my left shoulder.

“I was determined to try again in the afternoon anyway, because I was not ready to give up on the race.

“But I was still in considerable pain during the second session, which forced me to lap at a very slow pace.

“The gap in seconds between me and the top riders was too big as a result, also because I was riding cautiously, constantly mindful that even a minor crash could exacerbate the problem with my shoulder.

“This meant I struggled to maintain my focus, as I was acutely aware of my physical limitations and reduced performance.

“When I tried to push harder with a new set of tyres, even just a little with the braking or changing of direction, I found myself unable to do so because of intense pain in my shoulder.

“After running wide through turn 4, I realized it would be unsafe to continue riding for the remainder of the weekend. I’m sorry for my team and everyone involved, but it’s definitely wiser for me to stop and return fully fit for the next round in Barcelona.”

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