WSB: Honda sign Iker Lecouna and Xavi Vierge for the 2022 season

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Iker Lecouna and Xavi Vierge will move to the World Superbike Championship paddock next year after signing for Team HRC.

Honda are the last team to announce their plans for 2022 and are taking a gamble on an all-rookie line-up, opting not to continue with the vastly experienced Leon Haslam. Meanwhile, Alvaro Bautista confirmed his return to Ducati earlier this year.

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Lecouna has spent the last two years with Tech3 KTM in MotoGP after making a one-off appearance at Valencia in 2019. The 21-year-old has enjoyed an impressive 2021 campaign, securing a career-best of sixth at the Red Bull Ring.

The Spaniard has three top 10 finishes this season and is currently 18th in the championship. Lecouna, like teammate Danilo Petrucci, was told that he was no longer part of KTM’s plans earlier this year. Tech3 are replacing Lecouna and Petrucci with Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez.

Prior to MotoGP, Lecouna spent three years in Moto2, securing a best result of second at Valencia in 2018. He secured a second podium (3rd) in Thailand the following year.

Meanwhile, Vierge makes the switch directly from Moto2. Vierge has spent the last two seasons alongside Jake Dixon at Petronas Sprinta Racing, however that team will cease to exist at the end of 2021 following the departure of the Sepang Racing Team.

Vierge has spent seven seasons in the intermediate class, securing a total of four podiums and three pole positions. Vierge’s best result in 2021, as things stand, was third in Barcelona and he currently sits 11th overall in the standings.

Whilst 2021 Honda rider Bautista has his future sorted, it’s unclear where Haslam will go next. The 2018 BSB champion has been linked with a move back to the British championship, however nothing has been confirmed at this stage.