During the penultimate race of the 2021 MotoGP™ season, new Team HRC signings Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge gave their thoughts on joining Honda in WorldSBK
One of the key aspects of the 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship rider line-up was concluded last week when Team HRC announced MotoGP™ star Iker Lecuona and Moto2™ veteran Xavi Vierge for next season. The duo will both move across from the MotoGP™ paddock and, during the penultimate weekend of the season, both Lecuona and Vierge were able to explain the move from their view.
21-year-old Lecuona moves into WorldSBK on the back of two full seasons in MotoGP™ and has a best result of sixth place, coming at the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix. Prior to his MotoGP™ debut at the final race in 2019, Lecuona spent four seasons competing in Moto2™ from 2016 and claimed two podiums with a best result of second place.
During the Algarve Grand Prix, Lecuona discussed his move to Team HRC, saying: “I am not thinking a lot about next year. For now, I want to keep the focus on MotoGP™ because I only have one race and for me, it’s an important race because it’s at my home, like a home GP. For next year, first I need to try the bike, try everything like tyres and completely new bike and then maybe I can tell you whether I can maybe fight for the world championship or not. I want to enjoy it, to work hard and maybe after the first race I can say something.”
Vierge moves into WorldSBK directly from Moto2™ where he has been competing since 2015 with four podiums to his name in his 108 races run so far. Vierge admitted it will be a “big, big challenge” to make the switch from Moto2™ straight into WorldSBK but also that it was a “dream” for him to be part of Team HRC.
Vierge said: “It’s a dream for me to be part of Honda and I’m really looking forward to starting to work with them. It’s a big, big challenge. The difference, I think, will be everything! Starting with the power of the bike, it’s practically double and also the weight more. Also, the tyres. Everything will be new for me. I’m really looking forward to it. The team is amazing. I know most of the members who are already working there.”
Discussing working with Lecuona at Team HRC, Vierge added: “I know Iker, he’s a really good guy and really fast. He has more experience than me on a big bike and I think he can help a bit and I can learn from him a lot with the electronics and to ride a big bike. I will try to be as fast as him.”
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