The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team has been at the Nevers Magny-Cours Circuit in France this weekend for round nine of the 2023 Superbike World Championship, with riders Hafizh Syahrin and Hannes Soomer both scoring points in the final Superbike race of the weekend.
At 11am local time (CET), the ten-lap Superpole race got underway in hot and sunny conditions. From twenty-first and twenty-second on the grid, Soomer and Syahrin each made up one position through the first turns. Lapping with very similar pace, the pair battled each other in the early stages but were also able to move up the field. By the mid-race point, Syahrin was lying seventeenth with team-mate Soomer hot on his heels in eighteenth. The duo swapped places in the final stages, with the Estonian ultimately crossing the line seventeenth, followed just one tenth of a second behind by Malaysian Hafizh.
Later in the day, and in similarly high temperatures, the riders were back out for the last of the weekend’s full-length races. Soomer and Syahrin were lying twentieth and twenty-first early on, but a crash for two other riders on lap four saw the race red-flagged. In the restarted (17-lap) race, Hannes and Hafizh were almost immediately up into seventeenth and eighteenth place respectively. The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda duo again took each other on, exchanging places as well as making up two positions each through the first half of the race. Gaining another place in the latter stages, both riders were able to reach the points zone today, with Syahrin rounding out this final race in fourteenth place, closely followed once again by Soomer, fifteenth.
Hafizh Syahrin P14
“I’m really happy and this result is for everyone on the team after we’ve all worked so hard together. I’m still not 100% physically speaking after my accident at Suzuka but I was very motivated to do well this weekend. My goal is to do my very best in these final four rounds and to score two points here is very meaningful for me. A few crashes and the red flag maybe helped me a little today, as I was able to put in a new tyre before the restart and had better pace as a result for race 2 as a result. The aim is to continue to work and try to improve race by race, using the information we have to move forward.”
Hannes Soomer P15
“We had two good races today, two good battles with my team-mate. I took one championship point and I’m happy with that. I feel we’ve improved throughout the course of the weekend, working particularly on the final phase of corner entry to try and find something more. All in all, I can say I’m satisfied with the work we’ve done here.”