The Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão, Portugal is the stage for the penultimate round of the 2023 Superbike World Championship, in which the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team will compete with riders Hafizh Syahrin and Eric Granado.
The team has travelled directly from Motorland Aragón in Spain, where the tenth championship round concluded just days ago. Syahrin and Granado came up against a few obstacles on Spanish soil, unable to achieve the desired results for various reasons. But this only makes the pair more determined to put in a strong performance this coming weekend.
Both riders have the advantage of already knowing the Portimão track, although Granado has not yet raced there on a Superbike, and so will work hard already on Friday to find a set-up that can allow them to be competitive across the practice and qualifying sessions as they prepare for the all-important races.
The Autódromo Internacional do Algarve was inaugurated in 2008 with the final round of that year’s WorldSBK championship. The fast, undulating layout makes it a favourite for many of the riders. Located in the southern Algarve region of the country, close to the town of Portimão, the track measures 4592 metres in length and is made up of fifteen corners (nine right-handers and six left-handers).
“I’ve had a couple of days to rest up since Aragón. Hopefully we can start working well already on Friday, finding a solution to the issue we had in the last race in Spain. When the bike performs well, the whole experience is more enjoyable of course, regardless of the circuit. We don’t yet know how the bike will behave at Portimão, which is a challenging, rollercoaster of a track, but hopefully we can find a way to control the bike and do better than we did at Motorland.”
“I was able to get back in the rhythm at Aragón after a couple of months away from the bike. Now we have Portimão, a track that I like but where I have very little experience with the Superbike, just some laps during pre-season testing. So hopefully I can complete a lot of laps on Friday to better understand the track, which is a pretty unique one, and how we can adapt the bike to suit. It would be good if we could score some good results there.”
Name: Autódromo Internacional do Algarve
Length: 4.592 km
Pole position: right
2022 SBK RESULTS:
Race 1 – 1. Razgatlioglu (Yamaha); 2. Bautista (Ducati); 3. Rea (Kawasaki).
Superpole race – 1. Razgatlioglu (Yamaha); 2. Bautista (Ducati); 3. Rea (Kawasaki).
Race 2 – 1. Bautista (Ducati), 2. Razgatlioglu (Yamaha); 3. Rea (Kawasaki).
SBK RECORDS: Best lap – Rea (Kawasaki) 1’40.135 (2022). Superpole – Rea (Kawasaki) 1’39.610 (2022).