Following a display of great speed by Iker Lecuona, second fastest in FP3, and consistent pace by both him and team-mate Xavi Vierge, another solid double top-nine result confirms the good work that Team HRC is doing while also leaving them with the feeling that they could have obtained more today
The fourth round of the 2022 Superbike World Championship is underway at the Misano World Circuit, with Team HRC having now completed the first of the weekend’s races in seventh and ninth place with riders Xavi Vierge and Iker Lecuona.
After a convincing final practice session at the end of which Lecuona placed second overall, Vierge ninth, the Spanish duo were back out at 11.10 am local time for the Superpole qualifying session, which ran in warm and sunny conditions. Lecuona unfortunately suffered a crash at turn four in the opening stages, but this did nothing to deter him and, having set similar times to each other on the race tyres, the Team HRC riders returned to the track for the final part of the phase on qualifying tyres. With both pushing hard to secure the best possible grid position for the first races, Lecuona set a best of 1’33.999 to place eighth at the session’s end, immediately preceded by team-mate Vierge, seventh with an almost identical 1’33.991.
At 2pm local time the lights went out on the first of the weekend’s 21-lap Superbike races. Vierge made a good start and was eighth off the line, before moving into seventh by the end of the opening lap. Conceding a position towards mid-race, the Spaniard soon made this back up again, after which he held seventh all the way to the line. Lecuona made a good start from the third row of the grid but got caught up in a potentially disastrous situation at turn one. Although he came out of this unscathed, it nevertheless caused him to lose a lot of ground. Finding himself twelfth at the end of the first lap, he then made up a couple of positions through the subsequent laps but, with a small gap having already opened up in front of him, he was unable to progress any further than ninth, despite maintaining a consistent pace throughout.
Tomorrow will see Team HRC back on track for the brief Superpole race followed by the afternoon’s second and final Superbike race. The riders will now continue to work with their technicians in preparation for tomorrow’s action, races in which the pair are keen to play a more central role.