Xavi Vierge doubt for 2022 WorldSBK opener after rib fracture

Xavi Vierge suffers a rib fracture in an accident during WorldSBK testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, putting him in doubt for Aragon opener

Xavi Vierge - HRC Honda, 2022 WorldSBK

Xavi Vierge faces a race against time to be fit for the opening round of the 2022 WorldSBK Championship at Motorland Aragon after suffering a fractured rib in an accident during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The former Moto2 podium winner is gearing up for what will be his maiden season in WorldSBK with the factory HRC Honda team but has seen his preparations take a knock after slipping off in wet conditions at Turn 12 of the Spanish venue.

Though described as an innocuous fall, Vierge reported pain in his ribs to necessitate a visit to the medical centre. He was subsequently transferred to Sant Cugat Barcelona Hospital for x-rays, which subsequently revealed the fracture.

“The crash was a real shame and came at the end of what’s been a constructive testing session,” he said, having ended the two-day test with the tenth fastest lap. “Yesterday we had the first good weather we’ve seen for a while and were able to make the most of it.

“We focused on those aspects and took some steps forward over the two days, getting into quite a good rhythm and collating a lot of information. On Saturday afternoon the conditions worsened and after lunch the rain came. 

“We took the opportunity to work on some rain set-ups and wet Pirelli tyres but unfortunately, I suffered a crash which has left me in quite a bit of pain. I will start immediately with physiotherapy and rehabilitation so as to be back on track as soon as possible.”

It is the second injury knockback for the fresh HRC Honda rider line-up with Vierge’s ailment coming after team-mate and fellow GP-convery Iker Lecuona damaged his hand in his first test aboard the CBR1000RR-R in Spain last year.