Lecuona was in disbelief overtaking Lorenzo

MotoGP debutant Iker Lecuona has described his incredulity at overtaking three-time champion Jorge Lorenzo during a "spectacular" weekend in Valencia.

Lecuona was in disbelief overtaking Lorenzo
Listen to this article

The 19-year-old was drafted in by Tech 3 KTM for the 2019 season finale to replace Miguel Oliveira, and will contest his first full season in MotoGP next year alongside the Portuguese at the team.

Having never ridden the bike prior to the weekend, Lecuona got progressively faster as it went on, and ran as high as 15th in the race after overtaking a number of riders.

Among these was Repsol Honda man Lorenzo, who was contesting his last-ever race as a MotoGP rider.

"When I overtook Lorenzo, which I did twice, once at Turn 5 and another on the inside of Turn 4, it was like 'What is going on here? I'm overtaking Lorenzo, this is no small thing'," Lecuona recalled.

"I was more nervous on the grid than when I started third in Japan [in Moto2] last year. I was very nervous seeing myself alongside [Valentino] Rossi, Lorenzo and everybody else."

Lecuona's charge ended when he became one of three riders to fall at Turn 6 in quick succession, his bike sweeping an unlucky Johann Zarco off his feet in the gravel.

He was "afraid" of having injured Zarco and ran straight to the Frenchman - who ultimately escaped major injury - instead of trying to pick up his bike and continue.

Yet in the end the accident and subsequent heart-in-mouth moment did not take the shine off the Valencia weekend for Lecuona.

"It's been a spectacular weekend," he said. "I didn't imagine I would adapt [to MotoGP] so quickly.

"It's amazing that in my first race I was in the points. I made a mistake when I fell, but I'm very happy.

"I overtook [Mika] Kallio on the works KTM. I was careful because it's the factory bike and it's my first race and I didn't want to make a mess, but I knew that I could break away if I passed him.

"With Pol [Espargaro on the lead KTM] we were more or less on the same pace. I can't complain, and I have to thank the team."

Iker Lecuona and Mika Kallio

Iker Lecuona and Mika Kallio

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
 Espargaro: No ’20 Aprilia for test “not at all” acceptable
Previous article

Espargaro: No ’20 Aprilia for test “not at all” acceptable

Next article

MotoGP issues 2020 provisional entry list

MotoGP issues 2020 provisional entry list
Load comments
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Prime

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Motorsport.com, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock of Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Prime

The seismic aftershock of Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. We analyse what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP's Spanish GP Prime

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP's Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How praise for Honda's MotoGP bike has given way to doubt Prime

How praise for Honda's MotoGP bike has given way to doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022
Why Quartararo's win was vital not only for his title hopes Prime

Why Quartararo's win was vital not only for his title hopes

Fabio Quartararo got his MotoGP title defence off the ground in the Portuguese Grand Prix as a dominant first win of 2022 rocketed him to the top of the standings. While a significant result in terms of his title hopes, it has come at an even more important time in terms of his 2023 contract negotiations

MotoGP
Apr 25, 2022
The MotoGP rookie fighting two fronts in his debut year Prime

The MotoGP rookie fighting two fronts in his debut year

Darryn Binder has found himself in the unenviable position as MotoGP's most under-pressure rookie in 2022 having made the step directly from Moto3 with a reputation as an over-aggressive rider. This hasn't been an easy thing to shake at the start of the season, but he believes tangible progress is being made

MotoGP
Apr 18, 2022
How ‘Beast’ mode is putting Ducati in 2022 MotoGP title contention Prime

How ‘Beast’ mode is putting Ducati in 2022 MotoGP title contention

Enea Bastianini’s second win of the 2022 campaign at COTA puts him back in the lead of the standings and once again showed the best Ducati package is still the 2021 bike. Those closest to Bastianini tell Motorsport.com why he’s so good on the GP21 relative to his factory counterparts.

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2022
How Espargaro helped Aprilia shed MotoGP's underdog tag Prime

How Espargaro helped Aprilia shed MotoGP's underdog tag

Aleix Espargaro became MotoGP's newest winner in a thrilling Argentina Grand Prix in which he also proved the merits of the Aprilia project. After six years of hard graft, both parties have reaped the rewards they have long thought they deserved. But it was several key moments in that journey that led both to that momentous Sunday at Termas de Rio Hondo.

MotoGP
Apr 4, 2022