Honda confirms Iker Lecuona, Xavi Vierge for 2022 WorldSBK tilt

Honda HRC completes the full factory rider line-up for the 2022 WorldSBK Championship with GP-reverting rookies Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge

Leon Haslam, Alvaro Bautista - Honda WorldSBK

Honda has officially confirmed GP riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge will form its all-new, all-rookie rider line-up for the 2022 WorldSBK Championship.

The pair have been rumoured for some time, ever since it was revealed its big money signing Alvaro Bautista would be jumping ship back to Ducati after two seasons with the HRC squad.

The signings mark a significant about-turn for Honda, which returned to WorldSBK in 2020 in a full-factory capacity run by the Spanish-based Team HRC squad that looks after its multiple title-winning MotoGP effort.

However, the latest generation Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade has only demonstrated flashes of top performance, with Bautista collecting three podiums over the last two seasons, while Honda sits a distant last in the manufacturers’ reckoning.

As such, the all-Spanish pairing of Lecuona and Vierge is a new approach, with both proving young - 21 and 24-years old respectively - but experienced a GP context.

Lecuona joins WorldSBK after two season stint in MotoGP with the Tech 3 KTM squad, where he has increasingly proven capable of top ten results, even if they have been tempered with some error-strewn weekends. His best finish from 28 starts is a sixth place in the wet Austrian MotoGP.

Vierge, meanwhile, was originally touted for a move into MotoGP in 2022 from Moto2 with Petronas SRT but fell out of favour when the team was forced to re-organise in the wake of Petronas’ impending exit.  He is 11th in the current Moto2 standings and achieved four podiums in seven seasons of competition.

Lecuona and Vierge’s deal means all ten full factory seats on the 2022 WorldSBK grid have now been filled, while it brings the total confirmed up to 16 riders.

Suzuki GSX-S 1000GT (2022) Review | Engine Sound | Sport Tourer Road Test |