The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team was back at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today for the first of the races making up the second WorldSBK championship round.

A final free practice allowed riders Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin to make final adjustments to their CBR1000RR-R machines ahead of the qualifying session. Tarran unfortunately suffered an innocuous crash at turn 7 with just a few minutes of FP3 left to run. The rider was unhurt, but the team had to work hard to repair the bike in time for Superpole. Prior to his crash the Brit was riding well, finding an additional half a second with respect to yesterday (42.690). In the cooler conditions, teammate Norrodin was also able to improve on yesterday’s references, setting a time of 1’43.770.

The team tackled Superpole a short time later, both riders doing their best to secure the best possible grid position for the first of the weekend’s races. With only 15 minutes at their disposal, Mackenzie and Norrodin made a brief first exit before pitting to switch tyres midway through the phase. In the final stages, both riders pushed hard to complete a clean lap. While Tarran put in a 1’41.643 to place twenty-second at the session’s end, Adam set a 1’42.793 to finish twenty-third, both therefore qualifying on row eight of the grid for the weekend’s first race.

Race 1 got underway at 2pm and ran in dry, sunny conditions. Tarran and Adam were lying twenty-first and twenty-second by the end of lap one. While Tarran worked to gain ground on the riders immediately ahead, Adam did his best to establish the kind of pace that would allow him to stick close to his teammate, despite having opted for different tyres. Tarran caught up to Oettl mid-race, battling him before getting past him on lap thirteen. Upping his pace over the last five laps or so in contrast to some of his immediate rivals the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda rider was able to pass first Rabat and then both Ray and Redding in the final stages. This meant that Mackenzie ultimately crossed the line sixteenth, just two seconds outside the points zone. For team-mate Norrodin, the second half of the race was more challenging, but the Malaysian nevertheless kept his cool and maintained a consistent pace to complete this first race in twentieth position. The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team will round out the Catalunya weekend with tomorrow’s Superpole race and Superbike Race 2.

Tarran Mackenzie 16th

The first couple of laps weren’t the best but then I got into a nice rhythm. I was held up a little mid-race but eventually I was able to get past Oettl and make good inroads into catching those ahead. Im gutted I couldn’t get at least one point after all the effort but it’s a good result anyway, our best so far this year actually, also because we were a lot closer to the front in terms of overall race time. So, I’m much happier and hope we can make some more improvements for tomorrow’s races.”

Adam Norrodin 20th

I’m quite frustrated after this first SBK race at Barcelona, to be honest. I’m disappointed with the gap to the front and I had a lot of problems with the rear tyre, almost highsiding on the very first laps. It seems as if the rear tyre didn’t offer any advantage and it was very hard to carry the speed throughout the race. We need to analyse what happened and can hopefully remedy this for tomorrow. A big thanks to my team anyway, and we’ll keep working to prepare for the next races.”