Team HRC and its factory Superbike riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge have completed a further two days testing at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal, following on from last week’s positive sessions at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.

On track on both Tuesday 31 January and Wednesday 1 February, the team again benefitted from dry and sunny weather conditions, which enabled them to complete a range of different tests.

Vierge suffered a small crash mid-way through Tuesday’s session but was fortunately unhurt, his team working fast to repair his bike so that he could get straight back to work. The Team HRC duo completed close to 70 laps each on day one, with the work centring around bike set-up, electronics and geometries, much as it did last week at Jerez.

Day two saw the team continue with its work programme and successfully complete almost all of what it had planned for this week’s test. Lecuona was the victim of an innocuous crash during the morning but fortunately sustained no injuries. Lecuona and Vierge clocked up many more kilometres aboard the CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE, which provided the technicians with a great deal of useful data.

Team HRC will now continue to make final preparations ahead of the official tests that will take place at Phillip Island, Australia on 20-21 February, immediately prior to the opening round of the 2023 Superbike World Championship, which will run at the same circuit over the weekend of 24-26 February.

Iker Lecuona 7

“I’m generally quite happy with these two days of testing, particularly today, more than I was with the Jerez sessions to be honest. It’s true that we started the day with a fast crash at corner thirteen. I just touched the front brake and lost the bike – perhaps I was a little over confident entering the corner. I was thankfully unhurt, but my bike came off worse so apologies to my team and a big than-you to them for fixing the bike perfectly and quickly - they did an amazing job. We’ve tested a lot of things but mainly focused on trying to feel good aboard the bike and on stopping and turning. At Jerez we basically tested everything, trying new items and a lot of different settings, and we ultimately struggled. Here I felt much better, especially on the second day. We’re still lacking something because there is still a gap to the top in terms of lap times but we’re there in terms of pace. We carried out a race simulation at the end of the day and I was able to be constant and fast until the end, something that I wasn’t able to do last year, so I can say we leave here happy. Now we’ll have to see where we are when we get to Australia.”

Xavi Vierge 97

“We already worked well at Jerez last week, but during those sessions we were testing many things and looking for a direction, while here we already started out with a clearer base. Lap after lap we’ve improved, both in terms of performance and feeling, and have better understood how to move forward. I’m sorry for the crash on day one but the team worked well, and we were then able to enjoy a trouble-free afternoon and second day. This test has been about putting everything together, and this has given me confidence. We still have work to do but I definitely think we’ve taken a step forward. Today was another really good day for us, especially in the morning when we worked with the hard tyre. Our race pace is really good, and it was just a pity that we weren’t able to exploit the soft tyre when the time came for a time attack, but we encountered some small issues that prevented us from completing a fast lap. Having said that, the important thing is that we had good feeling on the bike on the hard tyre, because we will race on that spec here at Portimão and we improved a lot compared to last year. We’ve enjoyed a good pre-season in Europe and now have a lot of data to analyze before we take a small break and then it’s next stop, Australia.”

Location Information

Autódromo Internacional do Algarve Sitio do Escampadinho, Mexilhoeira Grande, 8500-148 Portimão, Portugal

Pole Position Right
Length 4.592 Km
Corners 15
Right Corners 9
Left Corners 6


Pole Record 1'39.610 (165,959 Km/h) J. Rea (Kawasaki ZX-10RR, 2022)
Race Record 1'39.826 (165,600) T.Razgatlioglu (Yamaha YZF R1, 2023 - SPRC)
All Time Record 1'39.610 (165,959 Km/h) J. Rea (Kawasaki ZX-10RR, 2022)
2023 Race 1 Winner A. Bautista (Ducati V4 R)
2023 Superpole Race Winner A. Bautista (Ducati V4 R)
2023 Race 2 Winner A. Bautista (Ducati V4 R)