Takahashi and Granado score points in WorldSBK race 1 at Estoril
The MIE Racing Honda team is on track at Estoril, Portugal for the final round of the 2020 Superbike world championship. Today saw riders Takumi Takahashi and Eric Granado complete the Superpole and the first of the weekend’s three races.
After a final free practice session early in the day, the team returned to the track for the Superpole qualifying session. Another dry session, Takahashi and Granado were able to complete a number of fast laps during the 25-minutes available. Japanese rider Takumi recorded a best of 1’38.581 to place nineteenth, while Eric, taking part in his first ever Superpole, set a 1’39.309 to finish twentieth. The pair therefore qualified on row seven of the grid for the afternoon’s first 21-lap SBK race.
The weekend’s first race got underway at 2pm local time in dry and sunny conditions. From the seventh row of the grid, the two MIE Honda Racing riders were lying seventeenth and eighteenth through the opening stages. Maintaining a solid rhythm and following one behind the other for the duration of the race, both were able to finish inside the points zone, Takumi crossing the line fourteenth, Eric fifteenth.
Private: Takumi Takahashi 13
“I have some regrets about today’s race because I was honestly hoping to have a bit better feeling, at least in line with the sensations I had in qualifying. But I struggled a bit too much through the opening laps and risked losing the front on a few occasions. I started to feel better maybe about ten laps in, and my rhythm became more consistent. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow but I think we have the possibility to perform better at this track.”
WorldSBK – Eric Granado 51
“The race was the best moment so far, because in FP3 we probably didn’t make the best tyre choice considering the temperature, and then in qualifying I didn’t make the most of the soft spec, probably because I was using it for the first time and didn’t know it well. It’s all experience anyway. In the race I made a bad start but and didn’t have the right feeling with the clutch. I tried to maintain a constant pace, behind my team-mate, and this was useful as I was able to understand a lot of things about my riding, the bike and the tyres. I thought there might be a drop in performance towards the end but it never came, so tomorrow we’ll try to do more, pushing right from the start.”