A constructive Misano test for HRC rider Lecuona, HRC test rider Nagashima and a “special trackside observer”
Team HRC has been at the Misano World Circuit this week for another test session. Factory rider Iker Lecuona was out on track on both Tuesday and Wednesday, the hot and dry conditions in Italy allowing for uninterrupted work.
Having recently undergone surgery on his right hand, Xavi Vierge was unable to participate in the riding this week but was nevertheless in the garage with the team, keeping track of developments, watching some of the action trackside, and taking the time to analyse all the data together with his technicians.
For this test, Iker was joined on track by factory HRC test rider Tetsuta Nagashima. The Japanese rider worked intensively alongside Lecuona over the two days of testing, something that he will do again over the weekend of 5-7 August, as part of the #33 Team HRC: along with BSB Honda rider Takumi Takahashi, Lecuona and Nagashima will compete in the iconic Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race with a factory bike based on the CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE SP.
The two riders and their technical teams spent the sessions focusing largely on the electronics, geometries and balance of the bike, comparing different set-ups with those used at the recent Misano WorldSBK round.
Having completed all the work it had planned, Team HRC is pleased with the progress made during these sessions. The team will now continue its work back at base in preparation for round five of the Superbike World Championship, which will play out at the Donington Park circuit in the UK over the weekend of 15-17 July.
Iker Lecuona 7
“After spending one day at Donington last week, which was very useful as I had the chance to experience this beautiful and fun, albeit very challenging track, we came here to Misano for two more days of testing, and I’m very pleased with how it’s gone. We worked our way through our test plan, and everything went smoothly, without any issues. The team did a very good job, Xavi was also here, with “Tetsu” Nagashima on the other side of the garage as well as quite a few Japanese engineers who came from the factory to see for themselves. Having Tetsu here was important because he is an official HRC test rider in Japan and was able to personally take part in the testing and share the track with me and other WorldSBK riders. It has been challenging in such hot and humid conditions, but we can be satisfied because I think we are continuing to improve. We completed two long runs and the feeling with the bike in the hot weather was pretty good, our race pace better compared to the recent round we had here. In general, I think we did a very good job over the two days. Now I feel a bit tired of course, but I’m happy and ready for the next step, with the Donington round coming up in a couple of weeks’ time.”
Xavi Vierge 97
“I’ve had mixed feelings here because of course I wanted to ride but, having had surgery recently, we thought it was best to avoid any risk. But I came along anyway because this is my first year in WorldSBK and I have never had the chance to watch the action trackside, and it can be very interesting. So we decided I would attend and it’s been very interesting to listen to the comments of “Tetsu” and Iker, to understand the different settings they are trying and to watch them and other riders in action to understand more in an attempt to continue improving. So I’m happy to have been here at Misano and I made the most of the weather, doing some training on my bicycle. I feel my condition’s improving day by day and this is very positive. And of course, it’s always nice to spend time with my team in the garage, even if it’s not in my usual role.”
Tetsuta Nagashima 49
“It’s been a really good experience for me because I’ve had the chance to understand the bike, the Pirelli tyres and the feeling with the CBR here at Misano. We completed a run with Iker today, I followed him and was better able to understand where we need to improve on the bike. I test the CBR in Japan and so this experience was very useful in that we could collect more direct information and also exchange opinions with Iker and Xavi. We worked very hard over these two days. The lap times were not too bad in the end, and the race simulation was also promising. We’ll keep working hard in Japan and I hope this will help the team and both Xavi and Iker. I wish to thank Honda for this great opportunity; I really enjoyed being here.”