Lecuona, Vierge complete private Portimao WorldSBK test

Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge continue their preparations for the 2022 WorldSBK season with two day Portimao test.
Lecuona, Vierge complete private Portimao WorldSBK test

Team HRC riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge have completed another two days of WorldSBK testing courtesy of a private outing at Portimao. 

Lecuona and Vierge got their first taste of the CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE at a circuit not named Jerez after having tested there once in December and again last month. 

Honda’s Portimao test comes just one week after Yamaha, Ducati and Kawasaki all completed a two day test of their own at the Portuguese circuit. 

Although lap times were not available - thus analysing the Spanish duo’s pace compared to the likes of Toprak Razgatlioglu, Jonathan Rea and Alvaro Bautista - all of whom broke the circuit lap record nine days ago, was not possible, Lecuona and Vierge confirmed significant steps were made as they continue to adapt to Superbike machinery. 

Speaking after the test, Lecuona alluded to 'taking a good step' when it came to understanding the team’s new items and Pirelli tyres. 

"I’m really pleased because we’ve improved a lot over the two days, both in terms of my feeling with the bike and the bike’s overall performance," said Lecuona. "On Thursday we worked on the tyres and also tested some new items, taking a good step forward in the process and lapping very consistently. 

"Today the weather was slightly less kind, colder and windier, and the asphalt was also a lot colder than yesterday. But we made some progress regardless, and that’s very good news. 

"I’m also happy that my feeling with the bike has been similar both here and at Jerez, two very different tracks. 

"The good points and the points we need to improve upon are essentially the same at both circuits, which means our direction is clear. Now we will turn our attention to Jerez because we need to carry on in this way."

Like Lecuona, Vierge had a very similar testing program which primarily focused on race simulations and finding a better feeling with the electronics and geometry of the 2022-spec Honda. 

Vierge added: "I’m really happy with my feeling with the Honda at this track, having only tested at Jerez up until now. At the beginning I felt like I had never ridden at this track before. 

"Lap after lap, I began to get used to the feeling, gain in confidence, and better understand the flow and the speed – I’ve really enjoyed it. 

"We’ve started to try some different items and set-ups, focusing on the electronics and bike geometry. One very positive thing is that we have been able to improve with every exit we’ve made, smoothly and without delay. 

"Today’s temperatures were a little colder than we expected after yesterday’s perfect weather, but we completed a long run and it was really useful for me and for the team to see how that went and how I felt during it. 

"Over the two days we’ve completed a great deal of laps and collated so much information that will help the technicians to prepare for the next test. We need to continue like this because we are working well and in the right direction."

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