Honda has demonstrated that it wants to do things big in 2022, and they amazed everyone in the MotoGP by presenting a completely new RC213V, which proved to be clearly superior in the tests than the bike that preceded. Now they have to figure out if the CBR 1000 RR-R will allow rookies like the Lecuona and Vierge to establish themselves in the SBK.
HRC concluded two days of tests in Portimão, strictly behind closed doors. This allowed the riders and team to focus solely on the track and on the work that needed to be done. Although it’s a bike with already two seasons of racing behind it, the CBR is still a young project that needs to be explored to the fullest before it can express its potential and, according to the two riders, the direction they’re taking seems to be the right one. The next stop for the team will be Jerez, where Lecuona and Vierge will return February 22nd and 23rd in order to better prepare for the season.
“I’m really happy with my sensations on the Honda on this track,” Vierge said, “since we only tested in Jerez so far. At first, I felt like I had never ridden on this track. Lap after lap, I started to get used to the sensationsto gain confidence and better understand the style and speed required.”
As a rookie in the category, Vierge has already started working on defining a set-up that will let him be completely at ease on the bike.
“I really enjoyed it. We started testing several different parts and set-ups, focusing on the electronics and geometry of the bike. A very positive thing is that we were able to improve with every ride, without problems and without delays. Today’s temperatures were a bit colder than we expected after yesterday’s perfect weather, but we completed a long run, and it was very useful for me and the team to see how it went and how I felt.”
In short, the outcome was positive for Xavi.
“During these two days, we completed a lot of laps and collected a lot of information that will help the technicians prepare for the next test. We have to continue like this, because we’re working well and in the right direction.”
Iker Lecuona expressed the same satisfaction. He’s probably the rider everyone is most eager to see, given his experience in the MotoGP with KTM. Iker seems to have a clear idea of the direction to follow in developing the CBR.
“I’m really happy because we improved a lot these two days,” Iker said, “both in terms of my feeling on the bike and the overall performance of the CBR. We worked on the tires on Thursday and also tested some new parts, making good progress and lapping very steadily. The weather wasn’t that great today. It was colder and windy, and the asphalt was also much colder than yesterday. But we made progress anyway, and that’s good news.”
They used the word “feeling” often because no rider is able to take a bike to its limit without it.
“I’m also happy that my feeling with the bike was similar both here and in Jerez. Two very different tracks. The strengths and the ones we need to improve are essentially the same on both circuits, which means that our direction is clear. Now we have to think about Jerez, because we need to continue working in this direction.”