Team HRC completes round four of the 2022 Superbike World Championship with three strong top five finishes for riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in Italy. Vierge unfortunately suffered a crash in race 2, hitting his right hand quite hard.
At 11 am local time, the factory riders lined up for the 10-lap Superpole race. Getting away from the third row of the grid, Vierge and Lecuona were lying sixth and ninth through the first turns. The Team HRC duo pushed hard in the initial stages to move, respectively, into fifth and sixth by the end of lap two. On lap three, Vierge passed Rinaldi to take fourth and started to move in on Rea, third. Lapping with almost identical lap times, Xavi came within three tenths of the six-time world champion but was not quite able to get close enough to pass. An excellent performance nevertheless saw him cross the line fourth, less than a second from the podium. Lecuona battled it out with Rinaldi and Locatelli through the central part of this short race, moving into fifth on lap five, a position he was able to hold to the line to finish immediately behind his team-mate and gift Team HRC its first double top five finish of the season.
Thanks to their Superpole race results, Vierge and Lecuona started from fourth and fifth on the grid for race 2. Xavi held his starting position through the opening lap, his team-mate behind him in sixth. The pair lost a little ground over the first few laps and were lying sixth and seventh on lap seven, after which Vierge pushed to close in on, and successfully pass, Bassani on lap nine. Xavi’s race was unfortunately brought to a premature end on lap twelve, when the Spaniard suffered a crash at turn 11, while fending off an attack from the Italian. Team-mate Lecuona continued to lap with consistent pace all the way to the line, passing Bassani, defending well, and ultimately crossing the line in fifth position, scoring more important championship points in the process.
After being checked by doctors at the circuit medical centre, Xavi has been diagnosed with some bruising and possible minor fractures. He will undergo further checks tomorrow once back in Spain.
Lecuona continues to hold fifth in the championship standings with 99 points while Vierge positions ninth with 63 points.