Just when we thought the whole merry-go-round of riders switching teams in the WSBK was over, it seems that yet another big time rider will soon be making his way to the superbike paddock. It all started when Ducati racer Scott Redding announced that he was moving to BMW for 2022. Redding effectively replaces Tom Sykes, who, in the interim, seems to be without a spot for the 2022 season.
Redding’s departure from Ducati subsequently left a spot open, a spot which has now been capitalized upon by Spanish rider Alvaro Bautista, who has now vacated his post at Team HRC. So, who’s taking Bautista’s spot at Honda's Team HRC? It could very well be MotoGP KTM racer Iker Lecuona. We know that Lecuona will not be renewing his MotoGP contract with KTM for 2022, however, the Spaniard has stated that he is sure of where he will be racing next year.
Both of KTM Tech 3’s riders will be pursuing different ventures next year in order to make way for new riders into the MotoGP. Moto2 racer Raul Fernandez will be graduating into the premiere class next year. So, too, will Remy Gardner. We already know that Danilo Petrucci may venture into the world of off-road at the 2022 Dakar Rally. As for Iker Lecuona, well, he’s managed to remain coy and rather inconclusive about the future of his racing career. We do know, however, that a contract between the Spaniard and the WSBK Team HRC is in the works—it just hasn’t been signed yet.
During an interview on the MotoGP World Feed broadcast at Aragon last weekend, Lecuona addressed speculations surrounding his future stating, “I think next week, I expect it. You know, when you sign a contract, it’s not easy; you don’t speak and sign directly at the first meeting. You need to think a lot, to speak a lot, and to prepare all the small points. I know my future, I know where I will be next year, but for now it’s not signed. We still finalizing every point in the contract. I expect to say something at Misano if everything is fine.”
He went on to express his gratitude to KTM for the work they’ve achieved together these past two seasons. “I need to say thanks to Herve Poncharal, to Pit Beirer, to Mike Leitner and to all KTM guys, because they gave me the opportunity to be here in MotoGP™, to fight with Valentino, to do very good races. I enjoyed a lot; I learnt a lot also because to ride with these best riders of this world is very nice. You learn race by race. I learnt; I have improved my performance. I have improved, not only as a rider.”