The headlining rookie in 2022 is Spanish sensation Iker Lecuona, who brings youthful exuberance to WorldSBK as he switches from MotoGP™, where he was a top six finisher. He joins up with Leon Camier’s Team HRC, who are now in their third full season back in the paddock as a full-factory effort.
Lecuona’s career has been short and fruitful, as he raced through the ranks of prototype racing with top tens in the FIM CEV Moto2™ European Championships when he was just 16, before graduating to the Moto2™ World Championship. Constant points finishes in his rookie 2017 season were rewarded a year late, where the Valencian rider took a fine second place at home in Cheste at the season’s close, before another podium beckoned in Thailand the following season, along with numerous top ten results.
The Spaniard then had a baptism of fire as he moved up into the MotoGP™ World Championship aboard KTM machinery and whilst it took some getting used to, three top ten finishes in his rookie season – on Independent machinery – were strong results. 2021 saw him improve again with three more top ten results and a best of sixth, before he made the switch to WorldSBK and to Team HRC: can he take his first World Championship podium in three years, or perhaps return Honda to winning ways in WorldSBK?