Honda betting on young riders "the correct way" - Lecuona
Ex-MotoGP rider Iker Lecuona says Honda’s decision to sign two young rookies for its 2022 factory World Superbike squad is “the correct way”.
Lecuona lost his MotoGP ride to Moto2 runner-up Raul Fernandez, who steps up from the intermediate class with KTM and Tech 3 alongside 2021 Moto2 title winner Remy Gardner.
Honda has completely revamped its 2022 WSBK line-up, bringing in Lecuona alongside former Moto2 rider Xavi Vierge to replace Ducati-bound Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam.
Speaking exclusively to Motorsport.com’s sister site Autosport, Lecuona believes he can bring “a new vision” to the Honda WSBK project and thinks HRC was correct to take on two new young riders.
“I’m really happy. I think I can give a new vision to the project,” Lecuona said. “Honda has taken two young riders, Vierge and me.
“In my case I have two years experience in MotoGP, on a big bike, I went fast. So, jumping to a new bike, like a bike that is developing, the frame, the brakes, stuff like that, I think Honda chose the correct way. To take young riders gives the energy.
"Finally, I’m very happy, first because it’s a factory and a new project. And I push, for sure I work very hard to stay in front.
“Both riders in the team are young and want to develop the bike fast and win races. I think for Honda it’s really good.”
Lecuona’s ousting from his Tech 3 KTM seat came after he completed just 29 grands prix in his COVID-affected two seasons in MotoGP.
At just 21, and having shown flashes of genuine speed aboard the KTM, a return to MotoGP can’t be wholly ruled out for Lecuona.
However, he admits currently it’s not something he is considering and is focusing fully on his WSBK role with Honda now.
“It’s difficult to say. For sure I’m very young. Now the guys coming to MotoGP [in 2022], two are more older than me and the other ones like me but with two years less experience,” he added.
“So, I never say no, but if I’m honest I don’t think to go back.
“If I sign in this case for the official Honda team in World Superbikes it’s because for my mind I need to do a change, to change a little bit the objective, the goals during the year, to take the new challenge. Take a lot of energy, take my energy to improve and to put in a new project.”
Lecuona and Vierge both got their first taste of Honda's CBR1000RR-R during last week's Jerez post-season test, but Lecuona was forced to sit out the final day of running after fracturing his finger.
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