Demonstrating grit throughout the course of another intense weekend, the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team and riders Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin have now concluded the second WorldSBK championship round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.

After a morning warm-up that ran on a damp track following light rain just prior to the session, the riders headed out in cloudy but dry conditions for the 11am Superpole race. Both Mackenzie and Norrodin got away well from the eighth row of the grid to place twenty-first and twenty-third through the first turns. It took Tarran a few laps to be able to pass Öttl, after which he was also able to close in on, and pass, Lecuona to place nineteenth. The gap that had opened up in the meantime meant that the Brit was unable to improve further on that position in the laps remaining, the rider thus crossing nineteenth. Race Direction subsequently handed him a one-position penalty for having made brief contact with Lecuona during the course of the action. Norrodin meanwhile struggled to establish a good rhythm in the early stages and ran a rather solitary race, in twenty-third position, after losing contact with his closest rivals. The Malaysian rider crossed the finish line but was unfortunately denied a final race result after running out of fuel on the in lap.

Race 2 kicked off at 2pm local time in dry, cloudy conditions. Once again, both PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda riders made a good start and were able to settle into a rhythm, with Tarran positioning nineteenth and Adam twentieth. The pair made up a couple of positions early on, following crashes for other riders, with Mackenzie showing good pace particularly in the first half of the race. Able to set his fastest time on lap 8, the Brit was setting almost identical times to his closest rivals but began to struggle to maintain his earlier pace in the latter stages due to a drop in tyre performance. Reaching the points zone on lap 14, Tarran did his best to defend the position but dropped to seventeenth with 2 laps to go, a position he held to the line. Adam, again going for a different tyre configuration to Tarran, slipped to nineteenth in the second half of the race, before making up one position later on to finish eighteenth today.

The next WorldSBK round will see the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team compete at the Assen TT Circuit in The Netherlands on 19-21 April.

Tarran Mackenzie

“I was really pleased with the Superpole race. I hadn’t had a chance during FP3 to do a decent long run with the Q tyre, so it was good to be in the mix during the sprint race, and closer to the guys in front too. In the long race, perhaps I didn’t make the right tyre choice, but we didn’t think we needed to change anything with respect to yesterday’s race. It was only afterwards that I saw almost everyone else had switched tyres! But that said, the first half of the race was positive; I was in the group and we were all close. It was nice to be in the fight, and although I perhaps could have saved the tyre a bit for the end of the race, I’m generally happy. So there were positives and negatives but we’ve learned a lot and I’d say that the weekend overall has been a lot more positive.”

Adam Norrodin

“I felt that we improved in terms of lap times today compared to yesterday’s race, when I felt I was trying hard without actually achieving what I wanted. But the pace yesterday was better, and today I struggled even more with the rear tyre. There was a big drop in tyre performance in race 2, which I expected after what we saw yesterday, but it was more dramatic than in race 1. I tried to manage this, but it wasn’t easy. These are our first long races of the season of course, as the Phillip Island races were split in two with a pitstop, so it’s important to collect the data and learn from the experience. The fact Tarran and I went with different tyre configurations means at least we have data to compare, so we’ll keep working and see what we can do next time out at Assen.”