The 2023 Superbike World Championship will draw to a close with the upcoming Spanish round at the Circuito de Jerez. The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team is eager to conclude a season that has been as challenging as it has educational with positive results. Unfortunately, Eric Granado has been declared unfit to compete this weekend, following a crash during the Portuguese round which has left him with a hand injury. He will therefore be replaced at this final round by Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado, who already lined up with the team in 2021 and 2022.
On the other side of the garage, rider Hafizh Syahrin has previous knowledge of Jerez, though he has not competed at the track with a Superbike, and so Friday’s practices will allow the team to begin adapting the bike accordingly. The weather may also play a part this weekend, considering the time of year, another factor for the team to consider as they prepare for the races.
Known as the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto since 2018, in honour of the late Spanish rider, the facility is located in Andalusia, in southern Spain. The track has been the stage for international race events ever since 1986, one year after it was inaugurated. WorldSBK was a regular visitor between 2013 and 2021, though there was no Jerez round last season. The track measures 4.423 km and comprises thirteen corners.
“I’ve never ridden the Superbike at Jerez, but I do know the track very well, having competed there in Moto2. I don’t know how our bike will behave there of course, but we’ll take our usual approach, trying to improve with every exit and work to find the necessary speed. I’m looking forward to it.”
“I’m really sorry that I’ve been declared unfit to race. I’ve been suffering a lot of pain in my hand over the last month and despite my best efforts to recover, I’m still not in good enough shape to compete. I was hoping to perhaps be able to try and ride in FP1 but it’s not my decision. I really wanted to complete this final round with the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team but all I can do is thank Midori Moriwaki, PETRONAS and Honda for the opportunity this season and focus on making a full recovery.”
Name: Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto
Length: 4.423 km
Pole position: right
Turns: 5 left, 8 right
SBK RECORDS: Best lap – Bautista (Ducati) 1’39.004 (2019). Superpole – Rea (Kawasaki) 1’38.247 (2019).
2021 SBK RESULTS:
Race 1 – 1. Razgatlioglu (Yamaha); 2. Rea (Kawasaki); 3. Redding (Ducati)
Race 2 – 1. Razgatlioglu (Yamaha); 2. Redding (Ducati); 3. Bautista (Honda)