WorldSBK 2023
Round 7

Lecuona and Vierge prepare for WorldSBK return to Imola

it Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola

Team HRC and riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge are back in Italy and getting set for the seventh Superbike World Championship round, which is being staged at the historic Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola this coming weekend.

Lecuona and Vierge prepare for WorldSBK return to Imola

Coming less than a fortnight after the Donington Park round, Imola is an event that the championship is particularly looking forward to, with WorldSBK returning to the iconic Italian circuit for the first time in four years. This means that neither Lecuona nor Vierge has previous knowledge of the track, and so the pair will be looking to hit the ground running in Friday’s practices. Although Donington failed to live up to the riders’ expectations in terms of race results, this only makes Team HRC more determined as it heads into this seventh round confident that it can do well. In the championship standings, Vierge currently places tenth but is only ten points from the sixth-placed rider, testament to just how close the competition is this season.

From 2001 and up until 2019, the Imola circuit was a regular fixture on the WorldSBK calendar. It has been the stage for many incredible battles over the years and the Italian fans always make for a lively audience. Coming in the middle of summer, conditions will likely be hot for the weekend’s races, another factor for teams and riders to consider as they make preparations for the races. The track itself measures 4.936 km and runs in an anti-clockwise direction.

Xavi Vierge
Xavi Vierge 97
Team HRC
Imola follows on from a weekend that had its ups and down, but our motivation is intact and we’re ready to work hard to get the best out of the next round. After Donington, we took part in two days of testing at Suzuka, two busy days where conditions constantly changed, but I really enjoyed it and feel it has given me an extra boost to fight hard to reach our goals. Imola is a new track for me of course, and I hope that it works for us as the Italian tracks generally do! As always when heading to a new track, I try to work a lot before I arrive, watching videos and trying to learn the circuit on a simulator, which, although on four wheels, is a really good way to check out the layout. So I think I’m as ready as I can be and now let’s see what we can do!

Iker Lecuona
Iker Lecuona 7
Team HRC
It’s a busy period right now, switching from one world to the other - from WorldSBK to MotoGP, the Suzuka 8 hours test and now straight on to a new track! But I’m enjoying myself and am looking forward to this new challenge. I know literally nothing about Imola, I’ve never been there and never watched a race there, but learning a new track is normally not that challenging for me, a track is a track! It will be really important to work well on the bike, quickly find the way in terms of setup and have a clear direction to follow throughout the weekend. I’m ready and waiting to kick off a new weekend.

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