The MIE Racing Althea Honda team has completed the first of the Superbike races making up Round 3 of the Superbike world championship at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal.
After a useful final practice session this morning, the Superpole qualifying session ran at 11am local time in hot and sunny conditions. During the 25-minute phase, Takumi Takahashi set a best of 1’44.025 recorded in the final seconds, which saw him finish in twenty-first position. Lorenzo Gabellini set a 1’44.779 mid-session to place twenty-third. The two riders thus earned spots on the seventh and eighth rows of the grid respectively for the afternoon’s race.
When the lights went out on Superbike race 1, Takahashi and Gabellini did their best to remain in contact with the riders immediately ahead of them, working to establish a consistent pace and lying twentieth and twenty-first respectively by the mid-race point. The Japanese rider made up a position in the final stages to eventually cross the line nineteenth, while Gabellini battled with Ponsson through the second half of the race, passing him in the final stages to close in twentieth place.