Are Honda beginning to turn a corner in WorldSBK?

Honda duo Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge leave Cremona upbeat about Honda’s improvements.

Iker Lecuona
Iker Lecuona

Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge believe Honda have taken a big step forward with the CBR1000RR-R after the latest WorldSBK test at Cremona.

Heading into Misano the 2024 season had proved very difficult for Honda, however, signs were there that the improvements were finally being made.

That has since continued with a two-day test at Cremona last week, with Lecuona saying: “Overall, it wasn’t too bad. We tried many things on the base. We didn’t try new items, but we tried all the progress we made at Misano to see if it was working or not, but it was only setup and electronics.

“On the first day, we struggled a lot. We were stuck in the 1’30s and couldn’t improve the lap time.

“On Thursday, it’s true that on the first run the track was a bit colder compared to Wednesday; the weather was better, so it was easier to beat the lap time.

“We started to feel good. During the day, at the end of the morning on a long run, I kept a really good pace, keeping it consistent with just two tenths difference every lap.

“I’m really happy about that. The step, I think, is there but until the race we won’t know.”

For Lecuona’s team-mate Xavi Vierge also enjoyed a strong test at Cremona as changes to the bike resulted in a ‘more stable bike’.

Vierge added: “Thursday was a good day for us with a much more stable bike, trying to focus on taking the maximum performance from it.

“My feeling improved a little bit and I’m happy about that. Race pace is not so bad. We used one SCQ tyre and I was able to improve the lap time quite a lot. 

“Overall, it’s been good. The good thing is we finished the test with the best base setup we've found so far, and this is important in order to be able to regain some feeling with the bike.”

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