The tenth round of the Superbike World Championship has concluded today at Motorland Aragón. On track with riders Hafizh Syahrin and Eric Granado, the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team faced obstacles that prevented them from achieving the desired results in the two races.
The 10-lap Superpole race got underway mid-morning, with Syahrin and Granado placing twenty-first and twenty-second through the initial laps. The Malaysian was able to make up a couple of positions in the first half of this short sprint, while the Brazilian had a little more trouble establishing the kind of pace that would allow him to gain ground. Eric was eventually forced to retire, on lap seven, due to a small technical problem, while Hafizh pushed all the way to the line, finishing the sprint in nineteenth position.
The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda riders were back on track at 2pm local time for the final 18-lap Superbike race. Starting from the seventh and eighth rows of the grid, Granado and Syahrin were lying twenty-first and twenty-second one lap into the race. Exchanging places early on, the two riders were doing their best to get into a good rhythm when Hafizh ran off track and slipped back down the field as a result. Realising that he had a technical issue, the Malaysian then retired on lap six. Granado held twentieth for the best part of the race, the gap ahead too great for him to be able to close in on the riders ahead. He gained one position towards the end, concluding the race nineteenth.
The next championship round will run already next weekend (29 Sept.-1 Oct.) at the Internacional Autódromo do Algarve in Portimão, Portugal.
“We leave Aragón a little disappointed. I was a little quicker than yesterday in this morning’s Superpole race, but then temperatures were higher for race 2 and the grip became more critical. I was riding as normal when something started to affect my gearing. This caused me to make a mistake, going wide and returning to the garage due to this problem. So this weekend we were unable to score points, which is a shame. It’s been a challenging race weekend all in all, but hopefully we can do more next weekend at Portimão to get closer to the points zone.”
“The bike was working well in warm-up so we headed into the Superpole race feeling fairly optimistic. But during the sprint, while lapping as part of a small group of riders, I found that I couldn’t maintain my speed at all. Worried that there was a problem, as we actually confirmed later, I decided to return to the pits. In race 2 I was able to make a good start, one of my best of the season actually, which allowed me to make up some places right away, but from there I ran a solitary second half of the race, which wasn’t easy as I struggled to maintain my pace and concentration. My main aim today was to finish the race anyway, after such a long time away from the Superbike, and we did that. I hope this weekend has helped me get back into the groove so that we can do more next weekend at Portimão.”