Vierge a solid sixth in racing debut at Mandalika, Lecuona on his way home

2022-11-26 08:09
The first of the weekend’s Superbike races at the Mandalika International Street Circuit proved positive for Team HRC and rider Xavi Vierge, as they battled their way to final sixth place.

Earlier in the day, Vierge was out for the last of three free practices. Building on what he learned yesterday (this is the Spaniard’s first visit to the Indonesian track), he was able to lower his time by another four tenths to set a 1’34.661. The high temperatures persisted all day, with the Superpole qualifying session already taking place on hot and slippery asphalt. During the short 15-minute phase, Vierge set two fast laps, the best of which in 1’33.125. This time saw him conclude the session seventh and secure a spot on the third row of the grid for Race 1.

The first of the weekend’s three races got underway at 1.30pm local time. Vierge held his position off the line, seventh, through the initial stages before conceding one position in the subsequent laps. Pushing hard but careful to avoid any mistakes, Xavi climbed to sixth by mid-race. Part of a group comprising four riders, the Team HRC rider did well to defend his position and was able to cross the line six to score solid points for the championship.

Team-mate Iker Lecuona was unable to compete this weekend after sustaining injuries during a crash that occurred in Friday’s FP2. After visiting the team in the morning, he left the paddock and is now already on his way home to Spain, where he will undergo further medical tests and begin the recovery path.

Xavi Vierge 97

“Sixth is a solid result but, overall, it’s been a tough day. Since yesterday’s FP1 the track conditions have been tricky to say at the least, with lap times dropping by seconds every session and this made the work with the team really difficult because you never quite understand if the setup you are trying is going in a really good direction of if it’s simply the tarmac that is getting better. Having said that, we did a good job, qualifying in one of the best positions of the year and making no mistakes in a race where it would have been easy to make them. We were expecting a bit more honestly, but it is what it is and now it will be crucial to carefully analyse all the information we have to try and improve tomorrow and get closer to the top four, which I think is within our reach.”

Xavi Vierge

Iker Lecuona 7

“Not the best way to end a weekend, but this is racing and we know it can happen. I’m happy with the work we’ve done and with our performance. I want to thank the entire team for all their hard work. Today honestly, I don’t feel too bad, better than I was expecting after yesterday when I was really in a lot of pain. I didn’t sleep too well but am feeling better by the hour, and I could walk much better this morning. It’s a pity to miss the races of course, particularly as I was feeling great yesterday, P2 in the first session, but this is racing, as I said. Once I get home, I’ll undergo more medical checks, and then we’ll see. I want to thank everyone for the huge support I’ve received from the fans and from other riders who’ve texted me on social media, and I hope to be back soon.”

Iker Lecuona

Results Tissot Superpole
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
1 Razgatlioglu Toprak 1 TUR PATA YAMAHA with BRIXX WorldSBK 1'31.371
2 Rea Jonathan 65 GBR Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK 1'32.423 1.052
3 Locatelli Andrea 55 ITA PATA YAMAHA with BRIXX WorldSBK 1'32.463 1.092
4 Lowes Alex 22 GBR Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK 1'32.514 1.143
5 Bautista Alvaro 19 SPA ARUBA Racing - Ducati 1'32.823 1.452
6 Bassani Axel 47 ITA Motocorsa Racing 1'32.936 1.565

Source: HRC

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