Tarran Mackenzie and replacement rider Ibrahim Norrodin are representing the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team in this weekend’s tenth Supersport World Championship round at Motorland Aragón in Spain.

Yesterday saw the duo complete two free practice sessions, which were of particular use to young Malaysian Norrodin who is making his debut appearance in WorldSSP this weekend. The riders were back out on track this morning for the qualifying session, which ran in cool, sunny conditions. Both riders got straight to work, with Mackenzie setting a 1’56.504 in the early stages, while Norrodin took almost one second off his time right away, setting a 1’57.008 just prior to the red flag, which brought the session to a temporary halt following a technical issue for another rider. Back on track with twelve minutes to go, the Brit and the Malaysian continued to do their best, with #95 ultimately setting a fastest time of 1’55.905 to place twenty-eighth, followed less than one tenth of a second behind team-mate Ibrahim, twenty-ninth with a 1’56.047.

At 3.15pm CET the lights went out on race 1, which ran in dry conditions over a distance of 15 laps. From row ten of the grid, Mackenzie and Norrodin knew that they were in for a challenge. With gaps opening up quite quickly ahead of them, the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda duo found themselves part of a group of four riders, who battled it out for the duration of the race, passing and repassing each other. Ibrahim was lying twenty-fifth by lap ten, followed by Tarran, twenty-sixth, positions that the pair ultimately held to the line.

Tarran Mackenzie P26

“Qualifying was not so bad this morning, although we were still struggling with a few small problems from yesterday. I felt that we fixed those in the race, but I had a little bit of bad luck over the first couple of laps when I had to avoid a couple of riders who crashed, which caused me to lose time. Anyway, I think we’ve improved the bike in some areas, but not in others, so hopefully we can take another step tomorrow.”

Ibrahim Norrodin P25

“I’m really happy about today, despite us finishing P25. I’m really enjoying the weekend and the team has really helped me in every session, working efficiently to prepare a good bike for me. I couldn’t do more in the qualifying session but did my best to manage my pace in the race. I made a few small mistakes but was also able to battle a little with my team-mate and the riders around me. Maybe we’ll try something different for tomorrow’s race, to see if we can find a little more, but I’m fairly satisfied considering this was my first Supersport race.”

Full Results *Courtesy of WorldSBK