Iker Lecuona on Miguel Oliveira’s KTM Tech3 at the Valencia GP
Moto2 rider Iker Lecuona will discover MotoGP KTM a little early as the new Tech3 recruit will replace his next teammate Miguel Oliveira in 10 days for the final in Valencia (Spain) ! Explanations.
Life is definitely far from being a long quiet river at KTM which is bogged down at the end of the 2019 MotoGP season: the Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira, best representative – and by far! – from the Tech3 satellite team will not participate in the GP of Valencia (Spain) scheduled for November 17 to rest his right shoulder freshly operated on in Austria.
- Malaysian GP:
- MNC of 24 October 2019: KTM signs Brad Binder to replace Zarco in 2020
Oliveira had already withdrawn last Sunday after a few laps due to the pain caused by this injury which has plagued him since the British GP. Injury also following a collision at Silverstone caused by … Johann Zarco, then still an official KTM rider !
Operated in the wake of the Malaysian race, the Portuguese n ° 88 must undergo a recovery of about two months: "but he will be fully recovered for the first Sepang Tests in February, which was the main objective", positivizes the KTM Tech3 team manager, Herve Poncharal, who therefore decided to call on Iker Lecuona…
Who is Lecuona ?!
"Iker who?!". But if: this young driver from Valencia, who officiates in the American Racing KTM team in Moto2 and was promoted next year to the RC16 Tech3, in place of the non-existent Hafizh Syarhin. Recall also that in the official structure, which did not fail to upset Oliveira below who was running for the post !
In other words: Lecuona, 11th in the Moto2 provisional with 90 points, will discover his future MotoGP a few days in advance and in real conditions, instead of making his first laps during the traditional tests the day after the Valencia GP … Sacred pressure for a debut among the elite at 20 !
Iker Lecuona will also be replaced on his Moto2 American Racing by Sean Dylan Kelly, who will also discover a new category: the American is currently racing in the American Moto America championship. You said "musical saddles" ?!
“Having this opportunity for my home Grand Prix is a source of pride for me,” says Iker Lecuona above. "I must savor this wonderful experience, but above all I learn as much as possible for the future. All this would not have been possible without the help and encouragement of Herve Poncharal, as well as of Eitan Butbul and the great team at American Racing, who have helped me grow as a driver and as a person ".
"I also want to send my best wishes to my future teammate Oliveira for the best possible recovery. I will do my best in Valencia, as I always do," predicts the no.27, whose best result this season is his recent third place at the Moto2 Thai Grand Prix.
The Valencian will indeed be on familiar ground on "his" Ricardo Tormo circuit, where he just signed his best performance in the world championship last year with a splendid second place behind … Miguel Oliveira. To believe that these two are intended to stick to the train !
MNC is in any case eager to measure the potential of this new debutant in the premier class, who has a really "committed" style: the proof with this video made a few years ago in which Iker Lecuona is totally behind. on a supermotard … while its front wheel takes off violently on the imperfections of the asphalt !
Finally, last notable "detail" about this last minute replacement: Miguel Oliveira occupies 17th place in the MotoGP provisional with 33 points, just ahead of a certain … Johann Zarco (30 pts)! The French will therefore be able to pass him on occasion during this final which he will play on the Honda LCR of Nakagami! Like a final snub to KTM ?!
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