At 11am this morning (CET), Lecuona and Vierge competed in their first Tissot Superpole Race. With just ten laps in which to make their mark, the Team HRC riders set out in a determined frame of mind. Lying eighth and ninth at the end of the opening lap and lapping with very similar pace to each other, the Team HRC riders maintained these positions with Lecuona finally crossing the line eighth, followed by Vierge, ninth.
The second and final 18-lap Superbike race got underway as scheduled at 2pm. Starting eighth and ninth based on the results of the morning’s Superpole race, Vierge and Lecuona were lying seventh and eighth respectively a lap into the race. In a similar fashion to the morning’s sprint, the two Team HRC riders rode a consistent race, swapping positions more than once throughout the eighteen laps. This time it was Vierge who got the better of his team-mate, finishing eighth ahead of Lecuona, tenth.
At the end of this opening weekend, Lecuona positions fifth in the general standings with eighteen points, followed by Vierge sixth, who also holds eighteen points. Team HRC will be back in action at the next WorldSBK round, scheduled to take place at the Assen TT Circuit in The Netherlands over the weekend of 22-24 April.
Xavi Vierge #97
“Before coming here, I did not even expect to finish all three races but, in the end, not only did we finish them but we also consistently fought in the top ten. I’m really happy to have finally discovered the WSBK championship; it’s a nice racing format and I’ve really enjoyed it. Due to my recent injury, I had to build on my performance over the course of the weekend. Today was a good day, firstly because we made up four positions in the sprint race and were therefore able to gain a better grid position for Race 2. And then we finished eighth in race 2. When I saw the possibility to pass Iker, I gave it my all. Step by step, I was able to increase my pace over the weekend and I can say I’m very happy with the work we did each day. Hopefully now, in the run up to Assen, I can recover and be fully fit for the next round so that I can focus solely on the track action. Iker and I are pushing to the max and this is good for us both, but also for the team as a whole. We get along well, and I think we are all doing a good job as a team.”
Iker Lecuona #7
“Overall, I think I can be happy. Leaving Aragon in fifth place in the championship, considering this is my first round with the team and the bike and after crashing in testing, is not bad at all. Having said that, it’s frustrating that I missed out on the chance to do better than eighth in the sprint race after making a small mistake when I shifted into third gear in a second-gear corner, losing some ground that I wasn’t able to recover. Then in Race 2 I struggled a lot, firstly when I found myself behind Xavi; it took me some time to pass him because I really wanted to do it in the safest possible way. I eventually moved up to eighth but then I started to lose the front in the final stages of the race. I had to be careful not to crash and so couldn’t defend my position in the end. A bit of a tough race then, but it’s all experience that we will harness in order to do better in the future. Thanks to the team because they always work very hard and really help me.”