KTM MotoGP boss, Herve Poncharal, is not happy about Iker Lecuona’s performance after a difficult start to the 2021 season, and he said that “everybody has to wake up.”
After a poor performance in Portimao, Lecuona has been given the ultimatum by the Tech3 team boss, who wants to see a better performance in the future.
Lecuona is not sure whether he will keep his seat at KTM next season since some rumors suggest that the Moto2 rider, Remy Gardner, could step up and steal his place. After a difficult start to the season, however, Lecuona finally scored his first points, finishing 15th.
Lecuona underwent surgery after the Qatar GP and came back for the Portimao GP. However, even though he scored points, he finished his race 50.6s behind the leader, and only Miguel Oliveira, who crashed, finished behind the Spaniard. His teammate, Danilo Petrucci, finished in P13, with 29.8s separating him and Fabio Quartararo, the race winner.
“You always have to find the bright side of the whole weekend, and the positive side is, we got our two guys, Danilo and Iker in the points, which are the first points of the season,” said Poncharal.
“[But] if we want to be completely objective, we are far. Qualifying was difficult, and the start of the race was difficult as well.
“Danilo had, I think, a good tire choice with the hard front and rear. He was the only one, and we were expecting him to be maybe in better shape the last ten laps than the others. We could see him catching the guys in front of him, but not enough. He ended up 0.176 behind Marini.
“I’d still like to thank him for pushing as much as he can at the moment. It is still a learning process. We need to understand more and more how we can help him to be feeling more comfortable and to be giving him better sensations to push more.”
Lecuona’s performance is not good enough, and the team boss, as already said, is not happy: “Iker, I would say, the only positive is that we got one point, but honestly, I don’t know what to say at the moment. I’m lost for words, and I think he is lost for everything,” Poncharal said.
“When I remember Iker at the very beginning last year, he was full of energy, sometimes doing mistakes, but pushing. This year for some reason, there is nothing that works, there is no sparkle. So, yes, we got a point, but very, very far down.
“We need to talk, and we need to debrief. We saw KTM is competitive. Brad Binder ended up fifth, 1.8 seconds to P2, which is another strong performance after Qatar. So clearly, the bike is there.
“We don’t want to talk too much about technical things. We need to give our riders a better feeling, we need to make them a bit hungrier, and let’s hope that will happen in Jerez, which is the fourth round of the Championship.
“It is already the fourth round, and everybody needs to wake up and push.”