Team HRC and riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge have today concluded the third round of the 2023 Superbike World Championship at the Assen TT Circuit in The Netherlands.
Team HRC and riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge have today concluded the third round of the 2023 Superbike World Championship at the Assen TT Circuit in The Netherlands. Unfortunately it was not their day, with both factory riders crashing out of the afternoon’s 21-lap race while battling inside the top ten.
Before gearing up for race 2, riders were out for the Superpole sprint race. Conditions were cool and sunny (air temp. 14°C, track temp. 20°C), but there was a slight delay to the start after an incident involving another rider left dirt on the track. The race was shortened to 8 laps and began roughly ten minutes later than scheduled. From tenth on the grid, Lecuona made up two positions off the line while Vierge, twelfth on the starting grid, also gained two positions through the first corners. Lapping with very similar times, Xavi moved ahead of team-mate Iker on lap two. While Vierge was able to hold ninth to the line, Lecuona battled with Van der Mark in the final stages, just missing out on a top ten finish to close eleventh.
The third and final race got underway as scheduled at 2pm local time. Now ninth and eleventh on the grid thanks to their results in the sprint race, Vierge and Lecuona immediately gained a position on lap one. Unfortunately Xavi’s race was over almost as soon as it began, the Spaniard crashing on lap three, at turn one, while pushing to stay in touch with the riders battling for sixth, with team-mate Iker moving into eighth as a result. Working hard to get into a rhythm, the remaining Team HRC rider moved briefly up into seventh, before battling with Gardner and Redding in the central stages of the race. It was not to be today though, with Iker suffering the same fate as his team-mate and crashing at turn four on lap eleven. Although he was briefly able to return to the track, the Spaniard was forced to pull into the pits and retire shortly afterwards.
With the first three championship rounds now complete, Vierge lies ninth in the general standings with 49 points, Lecuona lies thirteenth with 33. Team HRC will now focus its attention on round four, which is scheduled to take place at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit in Spain on 5-7 May.