Despite Honda finishing bottom of the 2021 manufacturers’ championship, Xavi Vierge believes Team HRC is the best team to join as a WorldSBK rookie.

Vierge, who completed his debut for the Japanese manufacturer during last month’s Jerez test, is making the switch to 1000cc Superbike machinery for the first time in his career after spending seven years in Moto2.

Since returning to WorldSBK in 2020 as a full factory outfit, Honda have claimed just three podiums which all came courtesy of new Ducati rider Alvaro Bautista. 

And although Honda have struggled to make serious development gains to the point of challenging Yamaha, Kawasaki and Ducati on a consistent basis - COVID-19 pandemic has played a part in the lack of development it must be said - Vierge believes it’s the best team to start his WorldSBK career with.

Speaking at the team’s official rider introductory media day, Vierge added: "Every year in WorldSBK the level is going up and now there is an incredible level. For sure it will be really difficult, but Honda is Honda and I think it’s the best team to join to start in WorldSBK. 

"I will work so, so hard, but at the moment I won’t set any target. I just put my focus on the tests we have and it’s really good because before the season we have many tests. We will have the opportunity to make many, many laps and arrive well at the first round in Aragon."

Despite not setting any ‘targets’ before the season begins, Vierge believes adapting to a three-race weekend - something he’s never encountered during his Grand Prix career - will be ‘a big challenge for us to adapt to’. 

"So I think one of the best targets to have is to adapt to the race weekend because we arrive from a championship where we have only one race on the weekend," added Vierge. "Now we have three races and one of them is short. 

"This will be a challenge for us to adapt to and then if we see the team there is a new bike from the last two years. They improved a lot and we saw in the last part of the 2021 championship they grow a lot and start to fight for podiums in nearly every race of the last part of the championship. 

"So we will try to continue like that. At the moment I think we have to work and to take profit from the bike and not change many things from that. The goal of everyone is to fight for the top positions."