“The step is there… finished the test with the best base setup we’ve found so far” – positivity from Honda at Cremona

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship burst back into action with a thrilling visit to the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” but, for a few teams, that wasn’t enough track time. Team HRC were one team who opted to stay in Italy but ventured across to the Cremona Circuit for a two-day test on Wednesday and Thursday and the comments from riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge were overwhelmingly positive.

Lecuona finished the test as the fastest of the two teammates, claiming third overall after setting a best time of 1’28.922s. He was beaten by Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) on Day 2 and Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) – who only tested on Wednesday – was faster overall, but that didn’t stop the #7 being delighted with how things have progressed in recent weeks, following on from a Misano round where he enjoyed his best weekend of the season with three top-ten finishes.

Reflecting on the test, Lecuona said: “Overall, it wasn’t too bad. We tried many things on the base. We didn’t try new items, but we tried all the progress we made at Misano to see if it was working or not, but it was only setup and electronics. On the first day, we struggled a lot. We were stuck in the 1’30s and couldn’t improve the lap time. On Thursday, it’s true on the first run the track was a bit colder compared to Wednesday; the weather was better, so it was easier to beat the lap time. We started to feel good. During the day, at the end of the morning on a long run, I kept a really good pace, keeping it consistent with just two tenths difference every lap. I’m really happy about that. The step, I think, is there but until the race we won’t know”

Vierge was also positive following the test although did point out there was still more to come. The #97 was the slowest of the six WorldSBK riders across both days, setting a 1’29.349s but also racking up 123 laps on his CBR1000RR-R. The Barcelona-born star used the SCQ tyre to set his fastest lap time, but he stated that the team found the best base setup they’ve had so far, which could point to more gains for Honda.

A positive Vierge stated: “Thursday was a good day for us with a much more stable bike, trying to focus on taking the maximum performance from it. My feeling improved a little bit and I’m happy about that. Race pace is not so bad. We used one SCQ tyre and I was able to improve the lap time quite a lot. Overall, it’s been good. The good thing is we finished the test with the best base setup we’ve found so far, and this is important in order to be able to regain some feeling with the bike.”

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Source: WorldSBK.com

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