Lecuona hails Honda’s chassis bracing update, late race pace the target
After two days of spinning laps at the MotorLand Aragon test, Iker Lecuona was more than happy with P3 at the end of it all
With the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship in a pause of action between round two and three, track activity came in the form of a private test at Aragon, attended by Iker Lecuona (Team HRC). The two-day test gave us a first look at a new exhaust for Honda, as well as an updated chassis bracing, something that was stiffer and to add more stability in the acceleration phase. There were new electronics to try for the #7, something he worked extensively on throughout day two.
Talking about day two of the test, Lecuona gave a brief overview: “We put the focus on the new parts and new electronics; we have a lot of new parts on the electronics and things to try. We need to understand if it works well for racing. In the end, we’re quote happy with the results. The pace was fine and we were alone, so not easy to follow anyone with just a few Superbikes on track. We did two-time attacks at the end, the first one is the best one as the second one I made a mistake at Turn 1 on the first lap and then on the second lap, I missed a bit. I’m happy, I think it’s a good time, but I’m happier about the pace.”
Airing his thoughts on the two upgrades, Lecuona wasn’t convinced that there was much change for the exhaust, but hailed the updated bracing: “The exhaust at the end didn’t change a lot. It changed more on the data but honestly, for me on the bike, I don’t feel a lot, just a little change. We worked all day with the new exhaust, so we’ll see again in Barcelona if it works well or not or if we need to change something with the electronics to work properly with the exhaust. Then, with the update chassis bracing, it worked quite well honestly. I worked almost all day with it and I was quite happy; we still have to understand many things and that in a round if we save enough tyre or with the old version. For now, the data is good so we’ll see.”
In the Championship standings, Lecuona isn’t the top Honda at the moment as a podium by teammate Xavi Vierge currently sees the #97 flying high in seventh, one point behind six-time World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). For Lecuona, he’s ninth, but hoping that the Barcelona test next week gives him a boost for the next round at Assen – home to his only WorldSBK podium so far.
“Last year, I got pole at Barcelona and it was something I didn’t expect,” began the Valencian. “We were very fast in one lap but then, during the race, we struggled a lot with tyre performance at the end of the race. It’s important to do the test next week to understand if we have improved at the end of the race or not. It looks like we have at Phillip Island and Mandalika but we will see next week.”
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