Nagashima joins HRC for Misano WorldSBK test

| | WorldSBK
Picture: HRC

Honda WorldSBK was in action this week for a two-day test at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli with Tetsuta Nagashima in the hot seat.

Iker Lecuona was on track for both Tuesday and Wednesday’s session with the Japanese test rider joining the action in place of Xavi Vierge. The Spaniard, having recently undergone surgery on his right hand, was, however, present in the garage keeping track of developments.

With preparations geared towards the British round of the World Superbike Championship at Donington Park in Mid-July, Lecuona and Nagashima also had the Suzuka 8-hour in their sights for early August. At which the pair will be joined by BSB Honda rider Takumi Takahashi.

“After spending one day at Donington last week, which was very useful as I had the chance to experience this beautiful and fun, albeit very challenging track, we came here to Misano for two more days of testing, and I’m very pleased with how it’s gone,” Lecuona explained from Italy. “We worked our way through our test plan, and everything went smoothly, without any issues. The team did a very good job, Xavi was also here, with “Tetsu” Nagashima on the other side of the garage as well as quite a few Japanese engineers who came from the factory to see for themselves.

“Having Tetsu here was important because he is an official HRC test rider in Japan and was able to personally take part in the testing and share the track with me and other WorldSBK riders. It has been challenging in such hot and humid conditions, but we can be satisfied because I think we are continuing to improve.

“We completed two long runs and the feeling with the bike in the hot weather was pretty good, our race pace better compared to the recent round we had here. In general, I think we did a very good job over the two days. Now I feel a bit tired of course, but I’m happy and ready for the next step, with the Donington round coming up in a couple of weeks’ time.”

“It’s been a really good experience for me because I’ve had the chance to understand the bike, the Pirelli tyres and the feeling with the CBR here at Misano,” Nagashima added. “We completed a run with Iker today, I followed him and was better able to understand where we need to improve on the bike.

“I test the CBR in Japan and so this experience was very useful in that we could collect more direct information and also exchange opinions with Iker and Xavi. We worked very hard over these two days. The lap times were not too bad in the end, and the race simulation was also promising. We’ll keep working hard in Japan and I hope this will help the team and both Xavi and Iker. I wish to thank Honda for this great opportunity; I really enjoyed being here.”

“I’ve had mixed feelings here because of course I wanted to ride but, having had surgery recently, we thought it was best to avoid any risk,” Vierge confirmed. “But I came along anyway because this is my first year in WorldSBK and I have never had the chance to watch the action trackside, and it can be very interesting.

“It’s been very interesting to listen to the comments of “Tetsu” and Iker, to understand the different settings they are trying and to watch them and other riders in action to understand more in an attempt to continue improving. So I’m happy to have been here at Misano and I made the most of the weather, doing some training on my bicycle.

“I feel my condition’s improving day by day and this is very positive and of course, it’s always nice to spend time with my team in the garage, even if it’s not in my usual role.”

Picture: HRC
Picture: HRC