The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda team is at Motorland Aragón in Spain this weekend, competing in round ten of the 2023 Superbike World Championship with riders Hafizh Syahrin and Eric Granado.
A short final practice, in which the team and riders made some last set-up refinements, was followed by the morning’s Superpole qualifying session. In cool, sunny conditions, both Syahrin and Granado made a strong start to the brief 15-minute phase, improving significantly on their best times of yesterday. At the session’s end, Hafizh placed twentieth with a 1’51.135 and Eric twenty-second with a 1’51.249. These results translated into a seventh and eighth row start for the pair in the afternoon’s first race.
Race 1 got underway on time at 2pm CET. Syahrin was in twenty-first with team-mate Granado right behind him in twenty-second over the first laps. Both were able to make up some ground early on but were unable to make further progress in the second half of the 18-lap race. Hafizh then battled Vinales during the second half of the race to ultimately cross the line nineteenth, while Eric unfortunately experienced a technical problem during the latter stages of the race and was ultimately forced to retire.
The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team will be back out tomorrow for the Superpole race and the second 20-lap Superbike race.
Hafizh Syahrin P19
“We finished P19 today – not an easy race. The first five laps or so were OK, but then we started to lose rear grip which meant that I also started to lose feeling. I think almost everyone had a front tyre issue, me included, and so it was hard to manage the situation and ride as I would have like. I was starting to lose my rhythm into the corners, but I tried to stay focused and collate as much info for the team as possible, so that we can work to try and improve in tomorrow’s second race.”
Eric Granado DNF
“I have to say that we took a good step today compared to yesterday. This is my first time back on the bike for two months and so I was lacking a little feeling in the first sessions. In today’s qualifying I was able to improve significantly on my time, though everyone else is also very fast of course. Through the first laps of the race, I was able to lap with good pace, better than I expected actually. But then from the mid-race point I started to struggle with a technical problem. I was able to continue for a few laps but eventually had to retire a couple of laps from the end. The positive is that I felt I had good rhythm in the early stages of the race and so we will take what we learned today and apply it to try and do more tomorrow.”