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WorldSBK Catalunya Test: Camier praises ‘productive test, potential is big’

HRC Team Manager Leon Camier left Barcelona pleased with the progress of his Honda WorldSBK team after both riders sat top ten in testing.

Appearing to switch seamlessly from MotoGP to WorldSBK, Iker Lecuona challenged the front runners with a top three time on Saturday’s dry morning running. His 1’41.033 around the 4.6km Catalunya layout demoting Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea down to fourth as the rain arrived and curtailed the action, while Xavi Vierge completed the final private test of the preseason in tenth, just seven-tenths adrift.

The second day’s change in weather did provide the opportunity for both rookies to continue their education on the CBR1000 RR-R, with the Fireblade’s wet settings fine-tuned ahead of the season’s official start on April 8th-10th. A late crash for Vierge, however, left the Spaniard heading for hospital with a fractured rib.


“It’s been very productive for us,” Camier commented from the Catalunya paddock on Saturday. “We’re just finalising basically the package we have, that we’ve done all the work in the previous offseason. Things have gone well, for sure we need to keep working, we need to keep making a step.

“It’s been good as it’s been our first time against the competition so we understand where we are.

“Step by step we can refine what we have a little bit more and keep progressing but it’s also good for the riders. Just to understand where we are and where they can make some improvements with their riding and where we can still improve the setting. The first time on track with the competition you have more of a reference to exactly where we are but we learned a lot from it and we will try to make some improvements before the first race.”

While Lecuona’s impressive place sat him firmly in the mix with the championship front runners, Camier admitted it may not be 100 per cent reflective of the season to come.

“We used a soft tyre, it was good to do to give him some confidence and to make him understand with the soft tyre but also this soft was the one from last year so it’s maybe not an exact reference to where we are,” he confirmed. “Was good just to give him some feeling of grip.

“There were some development tyres here, which we didn’t try any of the rear ones, so for us it was just to give him some confidence with grip and how to approach a session with a soft tyre.”

With one official test left at Motorland Aragon next week, before the season starts in earnest just a few days later, Camier is remaining tight lipped on the rookie duo’s ultimate potential.

“We will see when we get there basically,’ the 35-year-old said. “Of course we need to assess how Xavi is after the crash and Iker, I think the potential is big for sure. This is without question, but we need to see and we need to keep working.

"At the minute it’s a little bit difficult to tell. There have been a lot of development tyres in this test. Some people had them, some people didn’t and this we can only tell come the race weekend. So for us, we keep our heads down, keep working and see where we end up.”

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