New Team HRC rider Xavi Vierge has confirmed a move from Moto2 to WorldSSP was never on the cards after making the jump directly to WorldSBK. 

Vierge has departed Moto2 after spending seven seasons in the intermediate grand prix class, seven years that saw the Spaniard collect a total of four podium finishes. 

However, unlike former Moto2 riders Andrea Locatelli, Philipp Oettl, Lorenzo Baldassarri and Nicolo Bulega to name a few who have swapped said series for WorldSSP, Vierge instead went directly to WorldSBK as did Hafizh Syahrin who later joined MIE Racing Honda. 

When asked about by-passing WorldSSP for the premier class, Vierge alluded to the recent increase in power of Moto2 bikes being part of the reason in his decision, despite it remaining a challenging adaptation to make: "For sure it will be a challenge (Switching Moto2 for WorldSBK), but I think with the new Moto2 category the bikes are a bit more powerful than Supersport bikes; I prefer to make the jump in WorldSBK because it’s a step forward. 

"The first thing I did was to get a new Honda, try to make as many kilometres as possible and to adapt to the new category. It’s completely new for me. The power is much, much more than a Moto2 bike. But the team is amazing and they helped me a lot during the first test."

Vierge, who is joined by former MotoGP rider Iker Lecuona at the Japanese manufacturer for the 2022 season, will form half of the youngest full factory line-up on the grid, which for Honda is a significant change given they had Alvaro Bautista (37) and Leon Haslam (38) on the bike during the last two years.

Although Bautista and Haslam’s level of experience is ideal for a new project, a new bike, Vierge believes his and Lecuona’s more youthful side has re-energized the team, while younger riders are only getting faster and faster based on previous seasons.  

"The team already tried having two riders with a lot of experience which for a new bike is really great to have," added Vierge. "But if you check the grid every year more young riders are coming and are going fast. 

"For example Locatelli, Toprak [Razgatlioglu], Rinaldi, there are many of them. So, they changed a bit and they wanted to have two young riders with a lot of energy and with a lot of power to keep going. 

"When we arrived at Jerez everyone was feeling like that. It was very pleasant and everyone was very excited to have two young riders with that spirit and energy."