The MIE Racing Honda team is on track at Estoril, Portugal, for the final 2020 Superbike World Championship round. Rider Takumi Takahashi is joined this weekend by Brazilian Eric Granado, both of whom took part in today’s free practice sessions.

During the opening free practice, the two MIE Racing Honda riders took advantage of the dry conditions and worked hard with their technicians to begin the set-up work on their CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP machines. With Takumi focusing on ‘learning’ the new track and Eric getting to grips with his new bike, the results at the end of session one saw the Japanese rider place nineteenth with a time of 1’40.357, the Brazilian twenty-second (1’41.448).

The second session saw both riders take a very positive step forward in terms of lap times as they continued to work to adapt their riding and their bikes to the Portuguese track. Granado impressively improved on this time by more than two seconds to position twentieth overall (1’39.326). Takahashi also lowered his time, by over half a second, to close twenty-second in the combined standings (1’39.787)

Private: Takumi Takahashi 13

22nd 1'39.787

“I got a good first impression of the Estoril track and feel we have made progress throughout the day’s two sessions, run after run. At the same time, less than two hours around a new track is not really enough to understand its lines and references, having never ridden here before. And tomorrow is already race day! It’s a challenging schedule for a rookie but it is what it is, and I’ll do my best to keep improving my performance tomorrow.”

Private: WorldSBK – Eric Granado 51

20th 1'39.326

“I’m pleased with my first day aboard the new Fireblade. In Brazil I ride the previous version, but I really like the feeling this bike gives me. Today’s sessions have taught us a lot about how we need to approach the set-up and I have been able to improve on my lap times. The team has also been a great help, very supportive. There is still a lot of room for improvement of course, as it’s not easy coming straight into a race weekend without a test, but I think we had a good first day. Tomorrow I want to continue to improve and grow, learning as much as possible from the team and the other riders.”