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Jamie Klein

Lecuona convinced Honda can fight for "top positions"

MotoGP convert Lecuona set the third-fastest time on the second day of the test at the Spanish venue, lapping within half a second of Yamaha's reigning champion Toprak Razgatlioglu.

Teammate Xavi Vierge was 10th fastest on the second of the works Honda CBR1000RR-R machines.

Off the back of a disappointing 2021 campaign in which Honda finished fifth and last in the manufacturers' standings, Lecuona said last week's showing shows that the progress made by the Japanese manufacturer this winter has put it back in the fight towards the head of the field.

“It was very positive, for sure," said Lecuona. "Day by day I feel better with the bike, more comfortable. I can ride with my style.

"In general, I am very happy in dry conditions. In wet conditions, it was a bit more difficult as it was my first time riding with the Pirelli tyres, the bike and also the team’s first time riding with Showa suspension in the wet. We need to work harder, for sure.

"We are happy. It’s special to finish in third with everybody on track. We showed the speed and the level to fight for a top position.

"When I arrive in Aragon, we will see what happens. For sure, it will change a little bit the position, but the important thing is we can go fast and it’s very important for me and the team.”


Honda team manager Leon Camier described the Barcelona test as "very productive" as it offered a first chance for Lecuona and Vierge to measure themselves against all of their factory rivals for the upcoming season.

Camier said: "Things have gone well. We need to keep working, keep making a step. It’s been good because it’s been our first time against the other 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 always good for the riders 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 opposition, you have more of a reference to where exactly we are. We learnt a lot from it and try to make some improvements before the first race."


Vierge's test came to a premature end when he suffered a highside crash at Turn 12 on Saturday afternoon in the wet, with the ex-Moto2 rider having to be taken to hospital for checks on a rib injury.

On Vierge's incident, Camier added: "It was an unfortunate mistake. It’s his first crash so far with all the laps we’ve done in testing. Unfortunate for him as he’s been riding really well.”

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