Team HRC and factory riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge have officially kickstarted their winter test programme with a two-day session at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain.

On track on Wednesday and Thursday, the squad set about preparing for the 2024 Superbike World Championship season and supporting the two riders as they adapt to the 2024 version of the CBR1000RR-R. The team was able to exploit the largely dry conditions, maximising its track time to give Vierge and Lecuona the chance to build confidence with their machines. Both the riders and technicians began working with both the old and new bikes, drawing comparisons and making adjustments accordingly, before fully focusing on the 2024 machine.

At the end of two highly productive test days, both riders feel optimistic about the 2024 version of the FIREBLADE, which includes a series of engine, chassis, and suspension updates that aim to bring benefits particularly in terms of acceleration and grip. With the support of additional engineers from Japan and HRC test rider Tetsuta Nagashima, the team was able to complete much of its scheduled work over the course of the two-day session and is generally satisfied with the results.

Next up for Lecuona and Vierge is a trip to Indonesia, for an event with MOTUL and the factory HRC MXGP riders on 29 November, while the next WorldSBK test will see Team HRC on track at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal on Monday 4 December.

Iker Lecuona 7

“I'm really happy with the test and surprised with the step they’ve made with the new bike in Japan. Generally, in terms of the electronics, engine and chassis, the feeling with the bike is very different, by which I mean better. There are still areas where we’re struggling a little of course, and others where we need more understanding, but all in all I’m very happy for now. I realized that I also need to alter my riding style a little to adapt to the different feeling but, even with that, it was amazing to see that we could set some very good lap times and that tyre wear was less of a problem compared to the past. There is a lot we need to discover and understand, also because the conditions changed significantly over the last two days, with yesterday so much windier than today, which meant that we had to adjust the balance of the bike between the two sessions. I also felt a bit tired today, after a lot of travel and two very busy race weekends. So, we have a lot to reassess during the next test. Here our “new package” also included my new crew chief and we’ve made a good start there too, finding that we have in a lot in common both personally and professionally. We both like to be fully focused when it’s time to work and then share a joke after we wrap up for the day. So far, so good, and now let’s see if we can confirm these positive sensations during the December test at Portimão, a track that is very different to Jerez.”

Xavi Vierge 97

“We’re pleased as we’ve enjoyed two really constructive days of testing and been able to complete many laps in dry weather. Initially we worked to adapt to the new bike and tried not to make too many changes, starting with the base set-up that the technicians and Tetsuta had prepared for us in Japan. And my first impressions are very good. We carried out some comparisons between the 2023 and 2024 bikes and I immediately felt that the new bike has its strengths. It took a little time to adapt of course, after two years on the previous bike, but we’re already a little faster with the new bike. It looks similar to the previous version but, like I said, there are actually many changes and positive points. With the last year's bike we felt we had arrived to the limit, while with this one we have a lot of room for improvement. It has more traction and drive, we’re just not yet able to fully exploit those strong points. But this was just an initial test in which to build confidence. Now the team will analyse the data so that we’re ready for the next test day at Portimão in December. I want to thank everyone on the team, HRC and Tetsuta (Nagashima) for all their hard work.”

Location Information

Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto Carretera Jerez-Arcos, km 10 – Apdo de Correos 35 11592 Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz) – Spain

LENGTH 4.423 Km


Pole Record 1'38.247 (162,07 Km/h) J.Rea (Kawasaki ZX-10RR, 2019)
Race Record 1'39.004 (160,83 Km/h) A.Bautista (Ducati Panigale V4 R, 2019)
All Time Record 1'38.247 (162,07 Km/h) J.Rea (Kawasaki ZX-10RR, 2019)
2023 Race 1 Winner A.Bautista (Ducati Panigale V4 R)
2023 Superpole Race Winner A.Bautista (Ducati Panigale V4 R)
2023 Race 2 Winner A.Bautista (Ducati Panigale V4 R)