Jerez Winter Test
WorldSBK 2023

The 2023 pre-season kicks off for Team HRC with testing at Jerez

es Circuito de Jerez - Angel Nieto

On Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 January, Team HRC and its factory Superbike riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge took to the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Spain for the first two-day test session of 2023, alongside most of the WorldSBK field.

The 2023 pre-season kicks off for Team HRC with testing at Jerez

Sunny albeit very cool conditions (which were even cooler on the second day with a maximum air temperature of just 13°C) offered Lecuona and Vierge the opportunity to continue with the development of the CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE, the duo working efficiently and uninterruptedly from around midday until late in the afternoon on both days. This was fortuitous, considering that the team’s last test at Jerez in mid-December was seriously compromised by bad weather. Team HRC essentially picked up where it left off last time out then, carrying out tests and comparisons that were not possible in last month’s wet conditions.

Over the two days, Lecuona and Vierge focused on several new updates HRC had prepared for the test, spanning all areas of the bike’s setup, with the pair clocking up 68 and 88 laps on Wednesday and 68 and 79 on Thursday, respectively.

The squad will be back on track in just a few days’ time, participating in test sessions organised at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal on Monday 31 January and Tuesday 1 February.

Iker Lecuona
Iker Lecuona 7
Team HRC
I’m much happier today than I was yesterday, when we were struggling with the braking basically all day. So today we focused in on this area and made a big improvement that allowed me to enjoy riding the bike again. That was the first positive, but we were actually able to take steps with regard to various aspects of the bike’s setup, except one, in that we still have more to do in terms of turning. Having said that, I’m happy with the work we were able to carry out over what have been two very good days of testing, and I’m also pleased with the pace I was able to maintain on used tyres. I also tried a new soft spec today but almost crashed at turn 8. I think I made one of my best ever saves, touching with my elbow and knee but keeping it upright. Although I didn’t profit from the qualifying tyre, I was consistent and fast with the “0” spec, with which I worked almost all day, and we’re happy with that.

Xavi Vierge
Xavi Vierge 97
Team HRC
It’s been very positive to finally be back on track, especially because we only saw rain during our last tests here in December. It’s true that it has been very cold, but from midday on we were able to enjoy solid track time. We had a lot of work to do and have tried many things, basically going through all the items that we didn’t have a chance to check properly during the final rounds and testing sessions of 2022. We’ve made some steps forward and now have a direction for our next test in Portimão. We’re doing all we can to achieve our targets as quickly as possible and having so many Japanese engineers here has been extra motivation for us to do our very best.

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