The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda team faced a tough first WorldSSP race today at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit, with riders Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin battling grip issues throughout. While Mackenzie was able to cross the line twenty-seventh, Norrodin was unfortunately forced to retire on the final lap.
The Superpole qualifying session got underway at 10.25 am local time in warm and sunny conditions. Building on the work they completed yesterday, and despite ongoing grip concerns, Mackenzie and Norrodin did their best to complete a clean flying lap so as to secure the best possible grid position. With only 20 minutes at their disposal, both riders were soon able to improve on their best times set during Friday’s practice. A red flag with less than five minutes on the clock brought the action to a momentary halt following an accident involving another rider. The session resumed a few minutes later, with Norrodin setting a best of 1’46.877 to close twenty-fifth. Team-mate Mackenzie’s fastest time was a 1’47.379 set late on in the session, which saw him qualify in twenty-eighth position.
Norrodin and Mackenzie lined up on rows nine and ten of the grid respectively for the afternoon’s first 18-lap race. Lying twenty-third and twenty-eighth through the first laps, the Malaysian and the Brit both seeking a rhythm that would allow them to stick with riders in their respective groups. A gap gradually opened up between Norrodin and the riders immediately ahead and behind, but he was able to hold twenty-third until almost the end, when a technical issue unfortunately forced him to retire on the very last lap. Tarran battled with Truelove but was unable to make any real impact in terms of improving his final position, closing twenty-seventh.
Tarran Mackenzie P27
“We improved the chassis and electronics a little with respect to yesterday but we’re still lacking in a key area, which is something we can’t fix this weekend unfortunately. I was happy with my race but got knocked back a little towards the end. It’s frustrating because I can catch the guys into the corners but then lose it all on exiting so it’s like cat and mouse really. We finished the race though, and that means more data for the guys and hopefully we can make an improvement for tomorrow.”
Adam Norrodin DNF
“I made a good start and passed a few guys and felt like I had quite good pace early on. But then at a certain point around mid-race I started to struggle with a lack of grip at the rear. My pace dropped off but I felt like I was still pushing hard, so it was strange but the problems worsened and in the end a technical problem forced me to stop completely. It’s a pity because I felt like I had strong pace in the first half of the race. Anyway we’ll do what we can do prepare for tomorrow and see what we can do in race 2.”