The MIE Racing Althea Honda team and its riders Takumi Takahashi and Lorenzo Gabellini are on track at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal, having completed the first of the Superbike free practice sessions making up this third WorldSBK championship round.

Throughout day’s sessions, both MIE Racing Althea Honda riders worked hard with their respective teams to adapt their riding style and respective bike setups to the challenging Portuguese track layout and used today’s sessions to get to grips with the technical layout of the Portuguese track aboard their new CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.

By the end of day one, Takahashi had completed a fastest lap in 1’45.225 to position twenty-first in the combined standings, while Gabellini took a step forward in the second session, improving on his earlier reference to set a 1’47.365 and place twenty-third.

Private: Takumi Takahashi 13

21st 1'45.225

“Today I focused on getting into the right rhythm and finding good feeling with my bike at this track. We had a good start in the morning but a bit of a tough afternoon, perhaps due to the higher temperatures and the lack of grip. Anyway, there’s clear room for improvement so I’ll be doing my best to make the most of tomorrow morning’s final practice, in the hope I can take a step forward as we prepare for Superpole and then race 1.”

Private: Lorenzo Gabellini 63

23rd 1'47.365

“It’s a very difficult track, very technical. The fact that it’s all new for me here doesn’t help when others know the place so well of course. There’s a lot to learn, as I need to understand the right trajectories, there are blind points which are tricky, as are the potholes, the undulation. With each exit I make, I am trying to learn how best to ride, which lines to take, but guess I need a little time as I haven’t found the right feeling with the bike yet.”