With an all-new line-up for the 2022 WorldSBK season, Team HRC Team Manager, Leon Camier, has given his first thoughts on Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge following last week’s Jerez test. 

Despite ex-MotoGP rider Lecuona suffering a day-one crash which resulted in him ending his first test midway through day-two, Camier was impressed with the lap times that both he and team-mate Xavi Vierge were able to manage. 

Although said times were unofficial, Vierge posted a best of 1:40.228s, which was -0.202s better than Lecuona’s best effort. 

While it’s someway off the best time that six-time world champion Jonathan Rea posted - 1:38.831s - qualifying laps were ‘not our goal’ said Camier, instead getting both riders familiar to WorldSBK machinery, in particular to the electronics, was the main aim.

"We’ve essentially made a very good start and both Iker and Xavi have adapted very quickly to the bike and to the team - you could sense that they’re highly motivated," added Camier. 

"The lap times were good right away, but this was not our goal and so we were not pushing for those. It was all about trying to understand the bike, the tyres and the changes we made, which have most related to electronics at this initial stage. 

"Their comments were in line with what we already knew about the bike, and that’s impressive at what is their first test. 

"We used our current bike so that they could understand the base set-up and what we have now, and then they’ll be able to evaluate the updates we’ll introduce next year. 

"Conditions have been very good throughout the whole test, so even though Iker missed the final day, he was able to take advantage of a lot of useful track time and has already completed a lot of work. 

"Of course, we need more time on track with both riders, so that they gradually gain experience. It’s an all-round learning process, but so far everything has been going very well."

Even though Lecuona and Vierge are rookie to the class, as is Hafizh Syahrin in the MIE Honda Racing Team, bringing Honda towards the front of the grid in 2022 has to be the main aim after being the lone manufacturer not to take a WorldSBK win in 2021.