Team HRC have officially presented its 2022 CBR1000RR-R Fireblade colours for WorldSBK rookies Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge. 

While the team’s 2022 livery hasn’t changed drastically compared to the previous two seasons, the new-look Honda has introduced more red to the side of the bike, while also applying subtle changes to the HRC logo as the Japanese manufacturer gets ready to celebrate its 30 year anniversary of the Fireblade. 

The team’s virtual presentation saw both Lecuona and Vierge join Team Manager Leon Camier and HRC director Tetsuhiro Kuwata to present the new bike. 

Lecuona, who joins WorldSBK following two seasons in MotoGP, called the opportunity to join Honda as a factory rider ‘incredible’: "When, at the beginning of last season, I spoke with my manager and he told me about this possibility, I thought it was incredible, an opportunity to join a factory Honda team in World Superbike. 

"So, we seized the opportunity to jump on board. There’s a lot to learn yes, but I am quite lucky in that we have quite a few days of testing before the season starts, so this is very helpful as I adapt to the bike. 

"The team is also helping me a lot. We are two young riders who come from another championship, and everything is new for us. We have a lot of power, a lot of emotion, and we will spur each other on. 

"I think the challenging part is when you come to a new championship with a new bike, new everything. If you have a team-mate with experience in that championship, you can speak with him about the bike, the tyres etc. but we have Leon (Camier) who was a rider for many years, so we can speak a lot with him, and he can help us. I feel quite good. Let’s continue working."

So far Lecuona and Vierge have taken part in two private tests at Jerez, however, with another four testing opportunities still to come before the season begins in April, it’s expected that Honda will be attending at least two of them. 

While Vierge is also joining WorldSBK from the grand prix paddock, the former Moto2 rider is making an even bigger step across having never competed on a 1000cc machine.

"I’m really happy. When Honda came to speak with me to sign for Superbike, this became the first option for me, firstly because it’s a factory team, but also because it’s Honda," added Vierge. 

"For me I think Honda is one of the best factories in the motorcycle world and I am really happy and really excited to start. I don’t think I have to change a lot my riding style. 

"I am a rider and I can adapt and if the bike needs something I try to help the bike go faster. The feeling is completely different: tyres, suspension, frame, everything is completely different from what I was used to. 

"It’s something I need to learn. I need more kilometres but for now I am quite happy so we will see during the winter test; but I think it will be fine. 

"A challenge is having three races in a weekend, which is a lot physically, but is also good because I am a rider who, if the limit is here, likes to play on the line. Sometimes I crash. So, with three races I have more chances to have a good result (laugh)."