Tetsuta Nagashima to join Xavi Vierge for the WorldSBK grand finale at Phillip Island
Just three days after concluding the penultimate Superbike World Championship round in Indonesia, Team HRC is now on site in Australia, at the Phillip Island track, where the 2022 season finale is set to play out this coming weekend.
HRC official test rider Tetsuta Nagashima will replace Iker Lecuona who is unfortunately unable to compete in the last of the year’s races having sustained injury during the latest Mandalika round. The young factory rider is already in Spain, a few weeks of rest the primary course of treatment recommended for him as a recovery plan to full fitness.
It will not be the first time that the latest Suzuka 8 Hours winner joins the WorldSBK Team HRC, as earlier this year, in June, the Japanese rider took part in a two day testing session at Misano alongside Iker Lecuona, while Xavi Vierge was recovering from a hand injury.
The recent Indonesian WorldSBK round saw Xavi Vierge work hard throughout the weekend and score three top ten finishes, with a best of sixth in race 1. Vierge hopes to add to his total points tally and secure a top ten finish in the championship standings before attentions turn to preparation for the 2023 season.
The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit is located in the Australian state of Victoria. Lying roughly 140km south of Melbourne, the facility was officially inaugurated in 1956. Arguably one of the most spectacular tracks on the calendar, its coastal location makes for a unique backdrop. The 4.445km track comprises twelve turns – 7 left-hand corners and 5 right-handers – and an 835-metre start/finish straight. WorldSBK was unable to compete at the track last year due to travel regulations resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, so teams are doubly keen to return to the Island this year.
Xavi Vierge 97
“We have come to the final round of the season, and I cannot image any better location than Australia. I love the Phillip Island track and missed it so much when the pandemic prevented us from racing here. So I’m excited to ride, my goal being to round out the year on a high, possibly top five or even better. The weather is always a question mark, as it can change so quickly and dramatically here. I hope it will be dry, because when it rains here it’s usually quite cold too, but we will adapt to any situation.”
Tetsuta Nagashima 49
“I’m really happy to compete in the final WorldSBK round because it will be my first experience of the series and I’m both curious and looking forward to it. At the same time, I wish Iker a speedy recovery and hope he’ll be back soon. I will try to help the team with the bike, collecting as much data as possible for the future and doing my best to enjoy this opportunity. As I said, it’s my SBK debut so I don’t know what to expect and the weekend schedule is also new to me but I’m ready to get going!”