"Very happy… we put the focus on stopping and turning" – Lecuona delighted after strong Portimao test

Friday, 3 February 2023 09:16 GMT

Iker Lecuona spoke about his testing crash at Portimao as well as the positive feelings he got from his race simulation during the test

It was a dramatic second day of testing at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship field with Iker Lecuona (Team HRC) crashing in the early stages of Day 2 but bouncing back from that to take sixth place on Day 2. Lecuona was around eight tenths slower than the pace set by Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) at the top of the timesheets as the Spaniard look to work on race pace and consistency.

Lecuona’s crash came at Turn 13 early into the day’s running with the one-time WorldSBK polesitter one of the first riders out on track. Despite this, he was able to switch to his second bike at the test and continue working on his testing programme and, after the test, Lecuona discussed the crash and explained what happened, before apologising to the team and praising the work they did to ensure Lecuona could still work on his testing programme.

The 23-year-old said: “I’m fine. It was a small crash but a fast one at Turn 13. I just touched the front brake and I lost the front. I don’t have anything. I slide on the ground, but the bike has more damage; it arrived too fast in the gravel. First, I want to say sorry to the team because it’s the second lap of the day. The track was quite cold, and I started quite fast. Sometimes it happens. We still worked with the second bike. They changed the engine and the parts we needed to try, and they did an amazing job during today.”

Lecuona posted a best time of 1’39.803s on Day 2, lapping around two tenths slower than Jonathan Rea’s (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) lap record from last year’s Tissot Superpole session at the Portuguese Round. However, a lot of Lecuona’s focus was on race pace, consistency as well as working on stopping and turning his CBR1000RR-R machine with Lecuona “very happy” after the Portimao test.

Reviewing his test, he said: “We tried a lot of things, but we put the focus to feel good on the bike. At Jerez, we tried everything. We tried new pieces; we tried a lot of things. In this test, the goal was to feel good on the bike because I struggled at Jerez a lot. I started to feel better and better. I’m very happy with the work we did. We put the focus on stopping and turning. I did a race simulation at the end of the day. It was quite consistent for us. It’s very important to keep this pace at the end of the race and it’s the first time I can stay on the same pace. Last year, everybody knows I dropped a lot in the last laps.”

Can Lecuona build on his podium and pole position from 2022? Find out using the WorldSBK VideoPass!