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“It looks quite bad on paper…” - Honda WorldSBK boss Leon Camier faces up to challenges

Gold & Goose
Xavi Vierge, Team HRC, Honda CBR1000RR-R, 2023 WorldSBK, Most, action [credit - Gold & Goose]

HRC Honda boss Leon Camier says he remains confident his team will break through to become a regular front-runner in the WorldSBK Championship despite a run of disappointing results.

This is now Honda’s fourth season competing in the production-based series since upgrading its entry to a full-factory effort in 2020 run by the same Spanish-based Team HRC squad that runs its MotoGP operation.

However, success has remained fairly scant for the Japanese firm despite bringing in heavyweights like 2022 WorldSBK Champion Alvaro Bautista, who competed for Honda in 2020 and 2021, and GP-exiles Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge.


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Indeed, despite glimmers of hope with the latter pair during their rookie campaign in 2022, so far this year it has achieved just one podium with Vierge.

Moreover, its form is heading in the wrong direction, with Lecuona and Vierge notching up just three top ten results from 18 starts (three rounds)  between them.

For 2009 BSB Champion and former WorldSBK rider Camier, he admits the results tell a disappointing story.

“To be honest, I’d say it’s been quite a difficult season,” he concedes. “We analysed the results very well, and our performance, lap times and everyone else’s. We’ve made a step, but so has everybody else. 

“There seems to be a couple of extra riders in the top six group that makes it more difficult. Results-wise, it looks quite bad on paper and for sure, we’re not happy in this position and our goal isn’t to be here; it’s to be fighting for Championships and wins week-in, week-out. 

“We have a lot of work to do, but this is a process too. We have to understand, keep working and we have to keep working as hard as we can.”

Reflecting on the future, Camier wouldn’t be drawn on Honda’s rider line-up for the 2024 WorldSBK season.


While it has indicated it wants to keep working with Vierge and Lecuona, the latter is reportedly being primed for a move back to MotoGP with Honda in place of Yamaha-bound Alex Rins. The Spaniard has already started a number of MotoGP races this year as a substitute for either Marc Marquez, Joan Mir or Rins.

“Nothing at the minute but hopefully, we’ll have an announcement soon. I don’t have any more details at the minute.” 

Should Lecuona depart for MotoGP, Michael Ruben Rinaldi - who is expected to be succeeded by Nicolo Bulega in the Aruba.it Ducati team - is thought to be the front-runner to replace him. Other candidates include MotoGP rider Fabio di Giannantonio.

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