Iker Lecuona will make a surprise return to the premier class at this weekend’s Spanish MotoGP at Jerez after being called up to deputise for the injured Marc Marquez at Repsol Honda.
The Spaniard, who currently represents the factory Team HRC in the WorldSBK Championship, will step back up to MotoGP for his home event in what will be his first start in the category since the conclusion of the 2021 season.
He takes over the seat occupied by eight-time GP World Champion Marquez, who is continuing his recovery from hand surgery.
Marquez suffered an intra-articular fracture of the first metacarpal on the right hand in a collision with Miguel Oliveira during the opening round of the 2023 MotoGP season at Portimao, necessitating surgical intervention.
Already forced to miss rounds two and three in Argentina and the USA, Marquez will now have to skip the first European event of the season with a view to making his comeback during round five at Le Mans instead.
“Yesterday we did another CT scan and it has been confirmed that, despite the fact that the injury is progressing favourably, the bone has not yet finished healing and racing in Jerez was risky.
“Together with the medical team, we decided not to take any risks, to wait two more weeks and return in Le Mans. I am very sorry to miss the Spanish Grand Prix because it is always special, because of the atmosphere, racing at home and above all, seeing and enjoying the fans.
“I will continue with the rehabilitation and work to be back as soon as possible. Thank you for your messages of support!”
This will be Lecuona’s first-ever outing on a Honda MotoGP bike since joining the manufacturer as part of his switch to the WorldSBK Championship, where he has achieved one podium and a pole position since his debut in 2022.
He raced in MotoGP in 2020 and 2021 with the Tech 3 KTM team, achieving a best finish of sixth place.