Iker Lecuona hits his WorldSBK stride as he takes Honda top three in test

Iker Lecuona cracks the top three for Honda during pre-season 2022 WorldSBK testing at Barcelona, thinks the team is well placed for podium fight this season

Iker Lecuona - HRC Honda

Iker Lecuona is confident Honda will be in a strong position to challenge for a top result at the 2022 WorldSBK Championship opener at Motorland Aragon after impressing with a top three result during testing in Barcelona.

The Spaniard - making his debut in the WorldSBK class this season after switching from MotoGP - has been building on his form aboard the Honda CBR1000RR-R after initially hampering himself with an injured hand sustained on his debut riding the bike in November 2021.

Honda is hoping Lecuona and fellow rookie team-mate Xavi Vierge will revitalise a team that has achieved just three podiums since it debuted the latest generation Fireblade in 2020.

Finding himself behind only Toprak Razgatlioglu and Alvaro Bautista on the timesheets, Lecuona is optimistic Honda has made the step it needs to come out fighting when the season begins on 9-10 April.

“It was very positive, for sure. I finished third in the morning in dry conditions. Day by day I feel better with the bike, more comfortable. I can ride with my style. 

“In general, I am very happy in dry conditions. In wet conditions, it was a bit more difficult as it was my first time riding with the Pirelli tyres, the bike and also the team’s first time riding with Showa suspension in the wet. 

“We need to work harder, for sure. We are happy. It’s special to finish in third with everybody on track. We showed the speed and the level to fight for a top position. 

“When I arrive in Aragon, we will see what happens. For sure, it will change a little bit the position, but the important thing is we can go fast and it’s very important for me and the team.”

Lecuona fared better than team-mate Vierge in Barcelona, the ex-Moto2 rider sustaining a rib fracture in an accident during the wetter afternoon sessions.