World Superbike: Honda can fight for the top positions

MotoGP converter Lekuona showed the third fastest time at the test venue in Spain, flying Yamaha’s current champion Toprak Razgatlioglu in half a second.

Teammate Ksavi Vjerge was the 10th fastest with the second Honda CBR1000RR-R.

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After disappointing in Honda’s fifth and last place in the manufacturer’s 2021 campaign, Lecuona said last week’s demonstrations showed the Japanese manufacturer’s progress this winter had made it a leader again. .

“That, of course, was very positive,” Lecuona said. “Every day I feel better on the bike, more comfortable. I can ride with my style.

“Overall, I’m very happy with the dry conditions. It was a little harder in the wet conditions, because it was the first time I rode a Pirelli tire, a motorcycle and the team rode the Showa for the first time in the wet. We definitely need to work harder.

“We are happy. It is especially ranked third with everyone on the track. We showed speed and level to fight for the top position.

“When I arrive in Aragon, we’ll see what happens. Of course, that will change a bit, but the main thing is that we can drive fast, and that’s very important to me and the team.”

Leon Camer, Honda’s team manager, described the Barcelona test as “very productive”, as it offered Lecuona and Vjerge the first chance to compete with all their factory competitors next season.

Camier said: “Things have gone well. We need to keep working, keep going. It’s been good because this is our first time against another race, so we understand where we are.”

“Step by step we can improve what we have and keep progressing, but it is always good for drivers to understand where we are and where they can make some improvements in their journey and where we can still improve the settings.

“For the first time on the track with the opposition, you have more reference to exactly where we are. We learned a lot from it and are trying to make some improvements before the first race.”

Vierge’s test ended prematurely when he crashed in the 12th turn on a wet afternoon on Saturday afternoon, and the former Moto2 driver had to be taken to hospital to be examined for a rib injury.

Regarding the Vierge incident, Camer said: “It was a failed mistake. It’s his first crash so far with all the laps we’ve done in the tests. It’s sorry he’s driving very well.”

Georgie Collins

"Falls down a lot. Writer. Passionate alcohol maven. Future teen idol. Hardcore music practitioner. Food fanatic. Devoted travel fan."

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