Team HRC set for WorldSBK round 3 at historic Assen
Almost six weeks since the last round in Indonesia, the 2023 Superbike World Championship prepares for round three, which will see teams and riders competing on European soil for the first time this year, at the historic TT Circuit Assen in The Netherlands.
Team HRC has made a strong start to the season with both Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge. The latter came away from Indonesia with a podium to his name, having powered his CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE to an impressive third-place finish in race 2. And while Lecuona struggled with health problems at Mandalika, he was able to score a double sixth at the season-opener in Australia.
Both riders are keen to return to action in The Netherlands where Lecuona scored his first WorldSBK podium in 2022, when he finished third in race 2. An injured Vierge came away with a best result of ninth last year, but considering the results so far this season and the motivation with which he arrives in Europe, Xavi is confident that he can put in a strong performance at the TT Circuit this time around.
The TT Circuit Assen, also known as the ‘cathedral’ of motorcycle racing, is located in the Drenthe province of The Netherlands. It has been the stage for motorcycle competition since the 1950s, while the Superbikes have been regular visitors since 1992. The track currently measures 4.542 km and comprises eighteen turns, twelve of which right-handers and six left.
Weekend schedule (CEST):
10.30 – 11.15 – SBK Free Practice 1
15.00 – 15.45 – SBK Free Practice 2
9.00 – 9.30 – SBK Free Practice 3
11.10 – 11.25 – Superpole
14.00 – SBK Race 1
9.00 – 9.15 – SBK Warm-up
11.00 – Superpole race
14.00 – SBK Race 2
Xavi Vierge 97
“The next round is Assen and I’m really looking forward to getting there because last year the Dutch round was only the second event of my rookie season and I still wasn’t 100% fit after sustaining injury just before the start of the season, so I struggled a lot throughout the weekend. This year I’m in great shape and we’ve had some positive testing sessions so I’m eager to start work in FP1 and feel ready to give it my best shot. We’ll also be able to count on good references because Iker was very fast already last year so the aim will be to try and make a strong start to the weekend and then stick with the front group in the races.”
Iker Lecuona 7
“We head into round three after completing some very good days of testing, especially in Catalunya despite the crash on day 2. I’m feeling quite good considering and have no marks on my face where they put in a few stiches, but I still can’t run on my right foot or subject it to any real impact as yet. I have been able to train with my bike and bicycle and have been to the gym as normal in recent weeks though, so I feel ready for Assen. I’m very excited to race there again as I have such good memories of last year when I scored my first podium in WorldSBK. And I’m well aware that our potential with the bike is even greater this year, so I know we can fight!”
“The Cathedral” of motorcycle racing as it is known colloquially, the TT Circuit Assen has been hosting WorldSBK races since 1992, and celebrated its 25thanniversary as a Superbike venue in 2016. TT Circuit Assen
|Pole Record||1'32.934 (175,944 Km/h) T.Razgatlioglu (Yamaha YZF R1, 2022)|
|Race Record||1'33.620 (174,65 Km/h) A. Bautista (Ducati V4, 2022 SPR)|
|All Time Record||1'32.934 (174,87 Km/h) T.Razgatlioglu (Yamaha YZF R1, 2022)|
|2023 Race 1 Winner||A. Bautista (Ducati V4)|
|2023 Superpole Race Winner||A. Bautista (Ducati V4)|
|2023 Race 2 Winner||A. Bautista (Ducati V4)|