A useful albeit wet last test of the year for Team HRC at Jerez
Team HRC was on track from Tuesday 13 to Thursday 15 December for a three-day test at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain, the final sessions of the season for the team and an opportunity for Iker Lecuona to return to action.
Lecuona and teammate Xavi Vierge alternated their riding responsibilities, each on track during two of the three days. The entire test was unfortunately compromised by rain although the conditions were not cold, with temperatures of around 15°-18°C.
Despite the unfavourable conditions, both riders worked with their teams to build experience in the wet, considering that the duo had limited opportunity to ride in the rain during the 2022 season. The original plan had been to work on engine setup and bike geometry and test some electronic updates, as well as some brake and suspension updates from Nissin and Showa, but of course the weather conditions rather limited the possibility to complete the full work schedule. The team nevertheless deemed the sessions useful, with riders and technicians alike able to gain a better understanding of certain aspects of bike behaviour on the wet asphalt.
Now it is time for the team and riders to enjoy a well-deserved break, so that they can recharge their batteries before returning to the track for the first test sessions of the new year towards the end of January.
Xavi Vierge 97
“Unfortunately the weather conditions didn’t help us, as we weren’t able to make even one exit on a full dry track, but it’s been a good opportunity for us anyway, because we didn’t have much chance to ride in wet conditions during the season. The sessions were useful in that respect, as we made some small steps forward and got a better understanding of the direction to follow when it rains, which will be very important next year because sooner or later we’re bound to have to race in the wet. So I was happy with that, and also because we again saw just how hard Honda is working, bringing us some new items and settings to try, which pushes us to keep working and improve in January, when hopefully we’ll have some dry track time. Now it comes a time of the year I love, which I will spend with my family and friends, while also doing some motocross and training. Not that we’ll have so much time though, as we’ll be back in just a few weeks! I want to thank my whole team and all the guys working back at the factory for their commitment and hard work throughout year, and I wish everybody happy holidays.”
Iker Lecuona 7
“In the end we weren’t really able to exploit this testing session, as the weather was simply crazy over the three days, with alternating wind, rain, storms and sun, which meant that we never had consistent track conditions, neither fully dry nor fully wet. This meant that we couldn’t ride properly or find a way to understand the new items and setups HRC had prepared for the session. The positive aspect is that I felt good back on my bike, the wet conditions making everything smoother and less demanding and therefore allowing me longer runs in the saddle. And it was also good to spend some time with my team and the HRC engineers, working all together again. I thank everyone on the team for their hard work, and now it’s time to rest and enjoy some time with family and friends before we get back to business, full throttle, in the new year.”