WorldSBK 2023
Round 11

Team HRC prepares for penultimate Portimão round

pt Autódromo Internacional do Algarve
Team HRC prepares for penultimate Portimão round

With the Aragón round having come to a close just a few days ago, Team HRC and factory riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge are already on site at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão, Portugal, where they are preparing for the eleventh, and penultimate, round of the 2023 Superbike World Championship.

The latest Spanish event, a home round for both factory riders, brought consistent results for the duo, with Lecuona scoring a double sixth place finish on Sunday and Vierge a seventh and eighth place. Both are confident that they can build on that momentum as they head almost immediately into another race weekend. During last year’s edition of the Portuguese round, Xavi finished both the long races in eighth place, while Iker scored a best of eleventh in race 1.

Vierge currently places eighth in the championship standings and Lecuona thirteenth within twenty points of his team-mate. Both riders will be looking to maximise their points on Portuguese soil as they strive to improve their overall position in the classification.

Inaugurated in 2008, the circuit’s very first international event was in fact World Superbike. The track makes for exciting racing and is particularly appreciated by riders for its undulating layout. Measuring 4592 metres in length, the track is made up of 15 turns, nine right-handers and six left-handers. Located in the Algarve, almost 300 km south of Lisbon, the weather is often still very pleasant at this time of year.

Weekend schedule (CEST -1):


10.30 – 11.15 – SBK Free Practice 1

15.00 – 15.45 – SBK Free Practice 2


9.00 – 9.30 – SBK Free Practice 3

11.10 – 11.25 – Superpole

14.00 – SBK Race 1


9.00 – 9.15 – SBK Warm-up

11.00 – Superpole race

14.00 – SBK Race 2

Xavi Vierge
Xavi Vierge 97
Team HRC
I spent a couple of days at home after the Aragón race, the advantage of living within driving distance, and now we focus on Portimão a track that I like very much and that has a unique layout. In the pre-season tests, we were very fast here, and were particularly strong in terms of race pace. So we will try to harness the data we collected back then and the effective work method we used in the garage at Aragón, and see if we can get closer to the front.

Iker Lecuona
Iker Lecuona 7
Team HRC
The next race is a bit of an unknown for me because although the winter tests were not so bad, I also remember that we struggled a lot last year, so we have to wait and see how it’ll go this time. As for the track itself, I like the layout, but that’s not a guarantee that we’ll be fast of course. We need to work well and find a good setup; if we can do that, then I’m confident we can perform as we did in Aragón.

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