Lecuona, Vierge to make WorldSBK debut in Jerez test

Ex-Grand Prix racers Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge are set for their Honda WorldSBK debuts, while BMW and Kawasaki are also scheduled to take part in a three-day test at Jerez.
Iker Lecuona, Aragon MotoGP, 11 September 2021
Iker Lecuona, Aragon MotoGP, 11 September 2021
© Gold and Goose

Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge will make their Honda WorldSBK debuts during the first of three days testing in Jerez which begins today.

Honda, who finished fifth and last in the 2021 constructors title, will be on track with just its factory line-up as MIE Honda riders Leandro Mercado and Hafizh Syahrin won’t be attending the test. 

The manufacturer with the largest contingency will be BMW as Scott Redding, Michael Van Der Mark, Loris Baz and Eugene Laverty are all set for action. 

The three-day test will be Redding’s third outing on a M 1000 RR in just the last two weeks - second on the full factory WorldSBK BMW bike. It will also be the first time that he and Van Der Mark are together on circuit.

Lastly, Kawasaki will also be in action with factory riders Alex Lowes and Jonathan Rea. The Jerez test will be the first time on track for both riders since last month’s season finale.

While Lowes won’t be fully fit for the test, it remains an opportunity ‘to select the direction with our package for 2022’. 

Lowes said: "Obviously this test is important to select the direction we need to go with our package for 2022. Whilst I won’t be 100% fit yet, our performance isn’t our focus at this time. 

"My crew chief Marcel, my electronics engineer Danilo and all the guys on the technical side have been working hard and have prepared lots of options for me to try. 

"I am really excited to see what we can improve. If we get through all these items not only will it be a busy test but it will be job done - this is our only aim."

2021 championship runner-up Rea ended the year in top form by winning both Mandalika races - momentum he’s aiming to carry into the test.

"I am really happy to get back on the bike this side of Christmas because we can try to carry on the good feeling we finished with at the end of the season," added Rea. 

"Jerez is always a good test circuit to go to because we have a lot of data from there. It is also a circuit that has never been the strongest for us so we can work in some weaker areas. 

"We expect to have some items to test, which is really good because KMC and KRT have been working very hard on some new chassis items and electronics. 

"We hope to improve the feeling of our bike, work together in a good way and the target will be to give good solid info to all the engineers try to improve the overall package. 

"There is no pressure for lap times or anything like that. I am looking forward to it and I hope that the weather is good, and consistent, so that we can get a lot of laps done."

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