Team HRC ready for last continental round in Portimão2022-10-05 08:14
Round nine of the Superbike World Championship sees Team HRC and factory riders Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge travel to Portugal, and the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão, which is set to host the last event on European asphalt before three overseas events in Argentina, Indonesia and Australia.
The team heads into this next round in a positive frame of mind after taking another small step in the right direction over the latest Barcelona race weekend.
Lecuona scored his first WorldSBK pole position, a clear demonstration of both his own outright speed and the fact that the FIREBLADE is more than capable over the flying lap. Vierge’s prompt reaction following a tough Friday, which led to two solid results on Sunday, shows that with a setup that offers more consistency, the Spanish duo can undoubtedly have their say in the top five. They also completed a two-day test at Aragón one week ago, track time that proved constructive as the team heads into the final part of the 2022 season.
Inaugurated in 2008, by the WorldSBK championship in fact, the Portuguese circuit makes for exciting racing and is particularly appreciated by riders for its undulating layout. Located in the Algarve, almost 300 km south of Lisbon, the weather should still be very pleasant heading into the autumn season. Measuring 4592 metres in length, the track is made up of 15 turns, nine right-handers and six left-handers.
Weekend schedule (CEST -1):
10.30 – 11.15 – Free Practice 1
15.00 – 15.45 – Free Practice 2
9.00 – 9.30 – Free Practice 3
11.10 – 11.25 – Superpole
14.00 – Race 1
9.00 – 9.15 – Warm-up
11.00 – Superpole race
14.00 – Race 2
Iker Lecuona 7
“I really like the Portimão track, and this will be the second time I’m riding here with the Superbike after a testing session back in February, so we’ll see if we’re able to start to the weekend on the right foot. We have a busy period from now until the end of the year, with a tight racing schedule and test sessions too, but we are fully focused on the job. Me, the team and everyone at HRC are working very hard and we must continue to do so. As I said, I’m happy to be racing at a track I know well, and I think it can be another opportunity for us to try and stick with the top group.”
Xavi Vierge 97
“Portimão is a track I love. I enjoyed it a lot when we visited during the pre-season and that test was very positive for us actually. We just want to keep the ball rolling after Barcelona, which was a tough weekend but also a constructive one in terms of the work and improvement we were able to see and the things we learned. This has increased my confidence when it comes to making decisions about the direction to take. One of the most important things this weekend in Portimão will be to work on the tyre life and find a good electronics setup with which to achieve that.”
Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 Bautista Alvaro 19 SPA 394 ARUBA Racing - Ducati
2 Razgatlioglu Toprak 1 TUR 335 PATA YAMAHA with BRIXX WorldSBK
3 Rea Jonathan 65 GBR 327 Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK
4 Rinaldi Michael Ruben 21 ITA 205 ARUBA Racing - Ducati
5 Locatelli Andrea 55 ITA 173 PATA YAMAHA with BRIXX WorldSBK
6 Bassani Alex 47 ITA 170 Motocorsa Racing
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