The third 2022 Superbike World Championship round has concluded at the Estoril Circuit in Portugal, with Team HRC and rider Iker Lecuona scoring a very positive fourth and sixth place finish in the day’s races.
The third 2022 Superbike World Championship round has concluded at the Estoril Circuit in Portugal, with Team HRC and rider Iker Lecuona scoring a very positive fourth and sixth place finish in the day’s races. After achieving his best result of the season so far yesterday in race 1, Xavi Vierge was a little unlucky today, suffering a crash in the Superpole race, before closing the last of the weekend’s races in ninth position.
The 10-lap Tissot Superpole race got underway on a slightly damp track at 11am local time. After opting for an intermediate front tyre and a slick rear, Lecuona moved quickly into fifth place through the opening lap, and fourth on the subsequent lap. Riding superbly in the mixed conditions, Iker was the fastest rider on track early on, his strong pace allowing him to come very close to passing third-placed Bautista. In the latter stages, he lost a little ground with respect to the top three but was nevertheless able to defend fourth place all the way to the line, earning more important points in the process. It was a different story for Vierge unfortunately, as the Spaniard’s race came to an almost immediate end after he crashed out at turn seven on lap one. Fortunately, the rider was unhurt and able to compete in the afternoon’s second race.
Conditions were dry as the last of the weekend’s Superbike races began at 2pm, though drops of rain then fell at various points before the 21-lap race. Thanks to his Superpole race result, Lecuona lined up on the second row and was lying fifth through the first corners, despite having lost his front fender during the warm-up lap. Managing the situation and settling into sixth place, part of the chasing group, Iker then pushed to stick with Locatelli immediately ahead of him in an attempt to reclaim fifth position. Iker could not quite pass him but finished sixth, just 0.077 from fifth. Eleventh off the line, Vierge immediately made up two positions to place ninth before moving up to eighth a lap later. After a spectacular save which nevertheless caused him to lose some ground, the Team HRC rider went on to tussle with Redding mid-race, before winning the duel with him and Fores to conclude the race ninth.
Three rounds in, and Lecuona and Vierge currently lie fifth and eighth respectively in the championship standings, with 76 and 48 points. Team HRC will be back on track for round four of the Superbike World Championship, set to take place at the Misano World Circuit over the weekend of 10-12 June.