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SBK, Vierge: "Honda is working tirelessly to improve the bike"

"We still haven't made as much progress as we hoped, but the test has given us indications on the way forward," Lecuona: "Usually Honda does well in Barcelona, but we'll have to see what conditions we'll find in the race."

SBK: Vierge:

It was a rather intense two days of testing experienced in Barcelona by Honda's official riders, Xavi Vierge and Iker Lecuona, who were called upon to continue the development of the new CBR1000RR Fireblade SP, after the difficulties encountered at Phillip Island. It was a season opener that proved particularly tough especially for Lecuona, who was forced to miss the race weekend in Australia due to a shoulder injury sustained in a crash during testing earlier in the week.

Not yet at 100 percent form, the Valencian rider was able to take advantage of these two days of testing precisely to assess the condition of his shoulder and make sure he was in the best possible shape for Round 2 of the season, which will be held at the Catalan track itself over the weekend of March 22-24. Instead, with the support of test rider Tetsuta Nagashima, his teammate continued to work on the Firblade's set-up and on evaluating the new solutions brought to Barcelona by Honda, with the aim of trying to reduce the gap to his rivals as early as the next round.

"We managed to complete our work plan for these tests, obviously making some changes along the way. The feeling with the bike was not so bad when we started on Thursday, but unfortunately it decreased when we changed the set-up to try to improve the ride. Today we continued with the work, doing a lot of laps and trying out some new parts, especially the electronics, the engine brake area and the swingarm," Vierge told us at the end of the test.

Although there is still quite a bit of work to be done, the 26-year-old is grateful to the Japanese manufacturer for its efforts to make up ground: "Although we haven ' t yet achieved all the benefits we hoped for, the test has given us indications of the direction we need to go. Now we have a lot of data to analyze to find the best possible base for the race weekend. I want to thank the team for their hard work here and also Honda and HRC: everyone is working tirelessly in Japan to bring us new elements and improve our bike."

Lecuona: "I was still not back in the saddle from Australia."

More complicated was Lecuona's two days because of the aftermath of his shoulder injury, which prevented him from making the most of this testing session.

"This was the first time I rode a bike since Australia, and at home I couldn't train as I normally would have done, or work out. This is the current situation. I am doing my best, but I have to take things slowly. I am following the instructions of the physiotherapists and the doctors and that is why on Thursday I chose to shoot only in the morning and then visit a physiotherapist in Barcelona in the afternoon," Iker explained.

Today's day was more fruitful, as the 24-year-old himself recounted, "This morning the shoulder was going a little better than I expected, so I went out as soon as the track conditions improved a little after the rain that fell during the night and I rode for most of the day. I didn' t feel too bad in the saddle, although there was obviously some fatigue at the end of the day. We tried everything we wanted, and now it's time to analyze the data and figure out what worked and what didn't. It is clear that we still need to work on all areas of the bike rather than focusing on one specific aspect. I think we will all have problems with grip in the race, so we will have to find something from that point of view. The bike usually works well here, but we'll have to see what the conditions will be like next week and how I'll be physically."

Automatic Translation by DeepL

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