WorldSBK – The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team complete round one of the 2023 WorldSBK Championship
The day’s short Superpole took place in dry conditions in the early afternoon, running over a distance of just ten laps. Hafizh Syahrin was lying nineteenth and Eric Granado twenty-first through the opening laps. Both did their best to get into a rhythm despite the limited laps available, but it was not easy to make up ground. Seventeenth and eighteenth at the midrace point, Hafizh and Eric then switched places in the final stages to cross the line eighteenth (Granado) and nineteenth (Syahrin).
Race 2 panned out in a similar fashion for the two PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda team riders. Placing eighteenth and nineteenth early on, Syahrin and Granado lapped with very similar times to each other throughout the race. While the Malaysian rider crossed the line seventeenth, the Brazilian closed this final race of the weekend in nineteenth position.
The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team now travels directly to Indonesia, where round two of the WorldSBK championship is taking place in one week’s time at the Mandalika International Circuit.
“It has been a demanding weekend but, having said that, we were able to finish in the points here which is something we are happy with. Today we had two dry races which allowed us to understand more about our bike. We need to improve the traction, because we struggled with some spinning through all three races. Other riders were also spinning out of the corners, but they were able to cover more ground with more traction to push the bike and move forward. My feeling with the front is now better, but we still need to improve at the rear. We will try something different with the geometry of the bike for Mandalika.”
“I’ve learned a lot as a rider this weekend, not least because we’ve ridden in all possible conditions, from heavy rain to wind and also mixed conditions. I made a good step in the dry, especially in qualifying when I improved my feeling with the bike but I’m not yet used to this kind of pace and so I need to work on maintaining my rhythm over race distance. In today’s race I was there with the group in the opening laps but the bike was moving around a lot and I had to switch the mapping in order to be able to finish the race without destroying the tyre. This also meant I had to slow a little in the final stages and lose contact with the group. But it’s all a learning experience and I’m sure that, race by race, we will get to where we want to be.”