Team HRC has concluded the ninth WorldSBK round at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve with a double top ten finish for rider Xavi Vierge in the day’s two races.
Team HRC has concluded the ninth WorldSBK round at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve with a double top ten finish for rider Xavi Vierge in the day’s two races. Iker Lecuona had a more challenging Sunday, as he crossed the line twelfth in the sprint race before crashing out while fighting for seventh place in race 2.
In the morning’s ten-lap Tissot Superpole race, Lecuona lost a lot of ground off the line, slipping back to nineteenth, while Vierge was in eleventh place. Iker immediately set to work, pushing hard to make up positions and climbing to fifteenth by lap three. By lap six he was up into thirteenth, just behind Vierge, twelfth, with the two riders then exchanging places on the very next lap. Battling it out with rival Oettl in the final stages, the Team HRC riders crossed the line tenth (Vierge) and twelve (Lecuona), with Xavi missing out on the chance to gain a third row start by just 0.069 of a second to Loris Baz.
The second 20-lap Superbike race ran in sunny conditions and according to schedule. Eleventh on the grid, Lecuona was in tenth place by the end of lap one, immediately followed by team-mate Vierge. Both factory riders made up a position on lap four and by the mid-race point, Iker was lying eighth just ahead of Xavi, ninth. Unfortunately, on lap thirteen Lecuona crashed as he headed into the penultimate corner. Unhurt, Iker jumped back on his bike and re-joined the race despite having dropped back to last place. The Spaniard valiantly continued and finished race 2 in twenty-second place. Vierge held eighth place from the point at which his team-mate crashed all the way to the line, securing more important championship points.
At the end of this ninth championship round, Lecuona lies eighth in the standings with 163 points and Vierge places tenth with 115. The next round of the WorldSBK championship will take place at the San Juan Villicum circuit in Argentina on 21-23 October.