Iker Lecuona ‘expects a host of riders to be quick’ in Catalunya

Iker Lecuona expects a big battle at the front of WorldSBK at this weekend’s round two in Barcelona.

Alvaro Bautista, Iker Lecuona, Australian WorldSBK, 22 February
Alvaro Bautista, Iker Lecuona, Australian WorldSBK, 22 February

But the big question for Iker Lecuona is whether he will be one of those riders battling at the front.

Honda got off to a difficult start at Phillip Island as a lack of pace compared to their rivals was evident. 

On top of that, Lecuona missed all three races after suffering an injury during the pre-season test just days before.

Keen to put his injury issues aside although he admits he’s still not fully fit, Lecuona has gone well in Barcelona before and it’s a circuit that typically suits the Honda.

"I really like the Montmelo track,” began Lecuona. “I usually have good speed there and even secured pole position two years ago.

“Although we faced some challenges last year, we still managed to be competitive. This season, I expect a host of riders to be quick, with the overall level even higher than before.

“This makes the upcoming challenge more daunting, especially since I'm not yet 100% physically fit.

“After the injury, there was a whole month where I couldn't train properly - in fact, I barely trained at all.

“During last week's testing, I felt a bit fatigued. So, it remains to be seen if the race will be tougher than anticipated.

“I’m taking it one day at a time and not setting any expectations for the weekend, good or bad - we'll just see how things unfold.”

Lecuona’s team-mate Xavi Vierge is also a fan of the Catalunya circuit, with a best result of third coming in Moto2 (2021).

In his six WorldSBK appearances in Barcelona, Vierge has finished inside the top ten on five occasions.

Vierge added: "I’m super happy to be heading into round 2, here at home! Riding in front of my home crowd always adds a special touch, and of course I love the track - it's been the backdrop to some of the best moments in my career.

“After two intense days of testing last week, we've gathered a lot of data, which will be crucial for the team to prepare the best possible setup.

“This will allow us to hit the ground running and concentrate on our performance right from the start.

“Montmelo is normally a favourable track for our bike, and we need to exploit this to secure the best possible results."

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