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Iker Lecuona forced out of 2024 WorldSBK opener in another blow for struggling HRC Honda

Gold & Goose

Iker Lecuona will take no further part in the opening round of the 2024 WorldSBK Championship at Phillip Island after conceding the shoulder injury he sustained in a crash during testing is too painful to continue.

The ex-MotoGP rider - who enters into his third season in WorldSBK with Honda this year - came down heavily during the morning session at the Australian venue on Tuesday, sustaining damage to his shoulder.

Proceeding to miss the rest of the one-day test, though Lecuona braved it out on track during the two free practice sessions for the start of the race weekend on Friday, further assessment by doctors would declare him unfit to continue.


His absence means Xavi Vierge will go it alone for the factory HRC Honda squad and reduce the number of riders competing this weekend to 22.

More pressingly, however, it will come as a blow to a Honda team that has been struggling for pace during pre-season testing with neither Lecuona nor Vierge bothering the top ten in either practice session at Phillip Island.

It's the continuation of a trend shown during testing at Portimao and Jerez earlier in the year and comes despite Honda homologating a new iteration of the CBR1000RR-R SP package that has been developed with a view to improving its lacklustre fortunes on the WorldSBK stage.

To date, Honda has achieved only five podiums since its return to WorldSBK with the latest generation Fireblade in a factory capacity.

Lecuona himself has already been critical of the situation, declaring after European pre-season testing that Honda 'cannot be satisfied with its performance'

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