The MIE Racing Honda Team is taking part in round seven of the 2022 Superbike World Championship at the French circuit of Nevers Magny-Cours, with riders Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado and Hafizh Syahrin on track for Friday’s first free practices.

A first wet session made things interesting this morning, with some riders opting to limit their track time due to the tricky conditions. Leandro Mercado closed fifteenth with a best of 1’44.687, while Hafizh Syahrin, who has never seen the track before today, set a 1’56.204.

And the rain was set to continue, with the afternoon’s second practice also running on a full wet track. This of course prevented the MIE Racing Honda Team from making any real inroads into the weekend’s work, which impacted particularly on Syahrin, the Malaysian having no previous knowledge of the track. While Mercado’s best remained the time he’d set in FP1, with which he positioned fifteenth in the combined standings, Syahrin was able to lower his time by just over three seconds (1’53.152) to place twenty-third overall at the end of day one.

Leandro Mercado P15

“Conditions kept changing all day today. Alternating rain, sun, and rain again during the same session but I didn’t have bad feeling to be honest, actually I felt fairly good with the bike. We improved a bit during FP2 and now we will try to make another step to find more grip and have more speed out of the corners. There are some sections of the track, especially the second sector, where I feel really good already so now we’ll wait to see what kind of weather we’ll have and what we can do tomorrow.”

Hafizh Syahrin P23

“Due to today’s weather conditions, I got a first impression of what is a new track for me, but I had no time to really learn it. With the conditions changing continuously, the track became hard to interpret and I found myself being a bit too aggressive on the bike for the conditions, opening the gas when there was not enough traction to move forward and so on. At the moment, I can say that I like the layout but we need a dry session to understand it better or else I think I might struggle if the race is dry. Anyway, we will see how it is tomorrow, as it looks like conditions will be similar to how they were today. We must try and be ready either way, and do our best to improve our feeling”