Team HRC has concluded the eleventh and penultimate Superbike World Championship round at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve with a fifth and seventh place finish for rider Iker Lecuona in the day’s two races.
Team HRC has concluded the eleventh and penultimate Superbike World Championship round at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve with a fifth and seventh place finish for rider Iker Lecuona in the day’s two races. Xavi Vierge finished ninth in the Sprint race but was denied the chance to complete a strong race 2 after another rider made contact and caused him to crash.
The ten-lap Superpole race got underway mid-morning with Lecuona and Vierge starting from sixth and fourteenth on the grid respectively. Lecuona quickly moved up into fifth before passing Gardner to place fourth, while team-mate Xavi progressed to eighth on lap four, battling with Oettl through the central phase of the race. Lapping with the same pace as the rider in third place, Iker put together an impressive sprint race, ultimately crossing the line fifth and just three seconds from the podium. Xavi also ran a consistent race and was able to finish at the front of his particular group, concluding inside the top ten, in ninth position.
Their Superpole race results meant that Iker and Xavi lined up in fifth and ninth position on the grid for the final race of the weekend. Lecuona got away well and was lying sixth though the opening stages. Up to fifth just two laps later, Iker found himself in a group with Gardner and Gerloff. Lapping at an impressive pace, he held sixth for the best part of the race, losing one position over the last lap to cross the line seventh. Vierge’s race was immediately conditioned by a crash on the very first lap, when another rider made contact with him through turn three. The Spaniard rejoined the race but was of course in last position. Lapping almost two seconds quicker than the rider immediately ahead, he was able to reach and pass him on lap ten. Able to maintain a strong pace all the way to the line, Vierge made up four more positions to close a valiant fifteenth, scoring one championship point for his efforts.
With just one championship round left to run, Vierge lies eighth in the standings with 140 points and Lecuona places twelfth with 136. Team HRC will be on track for those final races at the Circuito de Jerez over the weekend of 27-29 October.