The curtain has gone up on the first round of the 2023 Supersport World Championship at the Philip Island circuit in Australia and the newly formed PETRONAS MIE MS Racing Honda Team has taken to the track for the first time with riders Adam Norrodin and Tarran Mackenzie.
Out for first practice at 10.30am local time (CET +10), the two Supersport rookies began to make preparations for the weekend’s races, benefitting from bright, sunny conditions. Starting from where they left off during this week’s test sessions, the riders and technicians worked hard to adapt the CBR600RR to the fast and flowing Australian track. By the session’s end, Norrodin has set a best of 1’36.488 to place twentieth, followed by team-mate Mackenzie (1’36.873) in twenty-first.
The afternoon’s session ran on hotter asphalt which meant that, like many of his rivals, Norrodin was unable to improve on his earlier time and rounded out the day in twenty-first position (1’36.880). Mackenzie’s practice was unfortunately conditioned by a crash at turn 10 just three minutes in. Although the British rider was unhurt, damage to his bike took time to repair, meaning that he lost almost the entire session and was unable to complete even one clean lap. Tarran therefore closed in twenty-second place. Both rookie riders are eager to do more in tomorrow’s qualifying and opening race of the season.
The PETRONAS MIE MS Racing Honda team continues to hone and finalise many aspects of what is a brand-new project but is optimistic that any logistical and bike-related issues will soon be resolved.
“We began with the set-up with which we’d seen the best results during testing. I was quite happy with it to be honest, and it was quite comfortable for me to ride this morning. We tried to improve the setting between FP1 and FP2 but unfortunately we went in the wrong direction, and I struggled to turn the bike as a result. I also had less grip in the afternoon. I’m a little disappointed as I’d hoped to make more progress in the second session, but we’ll try to work out what happened there and make some changes ahead tomorrow’s qualifying session.”
“FP1 went well as I was able to get some laps in after missing a good part of this week’s tests. So it was nice to ride and improve my feeling with the bike. In the afternoon I unfortunately made a small mistake early on which meant that I missed most of the session after crashing. So not ideal of course, but I think we can improve and continue to work on increasing my feeling with the bike tomorrow. I’m looking forward to getting some more laps in because we’re still limited in terms of the track time we’ve had.”