KTM MotoGP exile Iker Lecuona teases WorldSBK switch for 2022

Iker Lecuona is preparing to exit KTM and MotoGP but hints he will turn up on a 'big bike' next season, hinting he will be WorldSBK bound for 2022

Iker Lecuona - KTM Tech 3

Iker Lecuona has teased he will become the latest rider to make the switch from MotoGP to WorldSBK next season having moved into the frame for the factory Honda seat. 

The Spaniard has spent the last two seasons competing in the premier class with Tech 3 Racing KTM, but is out of a job for next season after it was confirmed both he and team-mate Danilo Petrucci would be replaced by Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez.

With the only seats available on the 2022 MotoGP grid expected to go to Marco Bezzecchi (VR46) and Darryn Binder (Yamaha satellite), Lecuona’s future will be elsewhere with a return to Moto2 or, more likely, a switch to WorldSBK on the cards.

"If I cannot stay here, I think I will change championships. My target is to continue with the road bike, a big bike, I don’t know what will happen in the future. 

"I need to wait, but for sure my target now is to stay focused and finish the year well." 

Unexpectedly promoted to a MotoGP ride in 2020 by KTM amid a reshuffle triggered by Johann Zarco’s abrupt exit, Lecuona struggled to match race-winning team-mate Miguel Oliveira.

Retained for 2021, Lecuona has performed well against Danilo Petrucci, while he has recorded his career best finishes in the most recent two races with a sixth in the weather-affected Austrian MotoGP and seventh at the British MotoGP.

Where could Iker Lecuona ride in WorldSBK?

The most prized available seat on the 2022 WorldSBK grid right now is at least one of the factory Hondas following the confirmed exit of Alvaro Bautista towards Ducati. Furthermore, with Leon Haslam unconfirmed as yet too, this could double Lecuona’s chances of landing the ride.

Interestingly, initial rumours had him linked to the satellite Honda run by MIE Racing, which would indicate the Czech team would receive more significant backing for 2022.

However, Lecuona does also hint that there are some tempting satellite options out there, though this approach didn’t work in Tito Rabat’s favour, the Spaniard this week quitting Barni Ducati after only eight events.

For now most of the satellite teams have available seats with tempting options at Barni Ducati, Go Eleven Ducati, Puccetti Kawasaki and GRT Yamaha.