The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team has completed the twelfth and final WorldSBK round at the Jerez track with riders Hafizh Syahrin and replacement rider Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado.
The brief Superpole race got underway in very cloudy conditions but on a dry track at 11am local time (CET). It was almost immediately red-flagged when a rider suffered a technical issue that left oil on the track. The race was restarted a short time later, with the riders lining up in their original grid positions, though the race was shortened to just eight laps. Syahrin and Mercado placed nineteenth and twenty-third through the first lap. Both ran a consistent first half before gaining three positions each mid-way through the race following incidents for other riders. Syahrin held sixteenth from lap six to the finish line, while Mercado rounded out the top twenty in today’s eight-lap sprint.
The final Superbike race of the year ran in the early afternoon in cool and cloudy conditions. With both riders making a good start, Syahrin was lying nineteenth and Mercado twenty-first through the opening laps. While Hafizh made up a position and battled to stick with the riders in front of him, Leandro had more trouble and found himself riding largely alone. The Malaysian completed the final 20-lap race of the year in nineteenth place followed by the Argentinian, twenty-first.
Syahrin rounds out this 2023 championship in twenty-first place with a points tally of eleven.
“First, I want to say a big thank you to the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team and all the sponsors. It’s been a long season with ups and downs, but I’ve always done my best and, prior to my injury, was often able to reach the points zone. I think we got into a good rhythm during this last round, scoring one point and maintaining good pace despite the difficulties. We’ve worked in a professional way and have given it everything all season long.”
“In the end we made progress throughout the weekend, and I did better in race 2 than in race 1. It wasn’t easy diving straight in on Friday without preparation, but I feel that we improved the bike with each exit and we couldn’t expect much more than that. I want to thank the team for inviting me to ride and I’m pleased we were able to complete the races without mistakes.”