Round one of the 2024 Superbike World Championship is officially a go, with PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda riders Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin having participated in the first practice sessions of the inaugural round at Phillip Island in Australia today.

With rain falling in all sectors as the morning’s FP1 got underway, the entire SBK field elected to stay in the garages rather than risk riding in the wet conditions. Only in the final fifteen minutes did riders start to head out on track, with Norrodin the first to brave an exit and complete a handful of laps as the asphalt began to dry. Completing just eight and ten laps respectively, Tarran placed twenty-second with a 1’32.416 and Norrodin twenty-fourth with a 1’33.862.

The track was still wet as the afternoon’s second session got underway, with riders again waiting a while before returning to work. SBK rookies Mackenzie and Norrodin worked hard with their teams during the second half of the session to optimize the setup of the CBR1000RR-R in preparation for tomorrow’s qualifying and opening race. The duo rounded out day 1 of this new season in twenty-second and twenty-third position, with Tarran setting a reference of 1’31.863 and Adam a 1’32.649.

Tomorrow’s track action will see the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda team taking part in the Superpole, followed, at 4pm local time (CET+10), by the first of the weekend’s 20-lap races. Based on information collated during the tests, it has been decided that the weekend’s races will take place under flag-to-flag conditions, which means that riders will have to pit and make a mandatory tyre change mid-race.

Tarran Mackenzie

“Unfortunately, I didn’t get in as many laps as I’d have liked to, which seems to have been the story of 2024 so far actually! As for the laps I did complete, I felt quite comfortable. When it’s windy like this, I tend to struggle to handle the bike, but in the end my lap times were quite similar to what I’ve done previously, so I think that’s quite positive. Let’s say what we can do tomorrow.”

Adam Norrodin

“In FP1 I didn’t complete many laps due to the mixed conditions. We had better weather for FP2 but still very strong wind and that didn’t make things easy. I wasn’t able to improve on my performance during testing, and I felt the bike was reacting in quite a different way. So we’ll keep working to see if we can find a way to improve as we prepare for tomorrow’s first race.”