The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team is on track at Jerez de la Frontera for the 2023 Superbike World Championship season finale with three riders, in the shape of Tarran Mackenzie, Ibrahim Norrodin – who substitutes for injured brother Adam – and wildcard Khairul Idham Pawi.
Unfortunately, the track was wet for Friday’s first practice, which meant that only a handful of riders risked heading out. The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda trio remained in the garage, before using the day’s second free practice to familiarize themselves with what is a challenging track. Although there were still some wet patches on the track as the afternoon’s session got underway, the riders were able to make the most of dry weather.
Having not visited the track for several years, Mackenzie worked methodically with his technicians, making changes to the set-up of his CBR600RR and setting a best of 1’46.123 to place twenty-third, having lapped in the top half of the field for a good part of the session.
Wildcard Pawi, who is tasked with getting to grips with a new bike and Pirelli tyres this weekend, used the afternoon to gradually adapt the bike to both the track layout and his own particular riding style. By the end of day one, he was lying twenty-ninth, having recorded a fastest time of 1’47.540.
Though keen to build on the momentum of the last rounds, Ibrahim experienced a few issues during FP2 that prevented him from setting a fast time, his best reference a 1’48.494. The Malaysian is nevertheless optimistic that he can do more tomorrow, track conditions permitting.
Tarran Mackenzie P23
“It was a bit damp at the start of FP2 but I kept at it, making as many laps as I could after losing FP1. The setting was quite hard for the conditions but we were top ten for a good part of the session so that was nice. We dropped back towards the end, but I think we can have a much better weekend here and hopefully round out the season on a high.”
Ibrahim Norrodin P30
“I’ve had a crazy 24 hours as I literally got on the bike for FP2 fifteen minutes after arriving at the track from Malaysia. Not the best start, as we couldn’t manage to find the ideal setup due to the mixed track conditions, a few wet patches remaining. Although we’ve made a slow start, I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s qualifying session and remain positive that we’ll be able to get into a good rhythm this weekend.”
Khairul Idham Pawi P29
“It was quite tricky in FP2 as the track was still damp. It’s not easy considering everything’s new for me here, and it was a pity we couldn’t maximise FP1, as I could have used the extra track time of course, but I hope we can improve tomorrow in qualifying.”