Round three of the 2023 Superbike World Championship is now underway at the TT Circuit Assen in The Netherlands, where the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team is competing with Hafizh Syahrin and Eric Granado.
During the morning’s initial free practice, Syahrin and Granado got reacquainted with the Dutch track aboard their CBR1000RR-R machines. Although both have previous knowledge of the circuit, there was work to do in order to adapt their bikes to the track. The opening session saw Granado place nineteenth with a 1’37.125, followed by Syahrin, twenty-first, with a time of 1’37.296.
The second practice allowed both PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda riders to improve quite significantly on their earlier performance. Brazilian rider Granado made a good step mid-session, improving by a good second to set a 1’36.123 with which he closed nineteenth in the day’s combined standings. Syahrin lowered his lap time already in the early stages of the 45-minute phase and continue to make gradual progress throughout. The Malaysian set a quickest time of 1’36.307, lowering his earlier reference by almost a second to place twenty-first at the end of Friday’s action. The team can be satisfied with its performance considering that its riders are gradually closing the gap to the competition.
Eric Granado P19
“A positive first day. The Barcelona test helped us to understand more about the bike and my riding and so I feel we’ve been able to make a more positive start and I’ve been able to ride more comfortably compared to the previous Fridays in Australia and Indonesia. We’re closer to the front today and that’s our target of course, to continue to improve, learn and move in on those in front of us. So I’m pleased with our work today and the goal for tomorrow is to continue to progress, work to heighten my feeling with the bike and then complete a solid race 1.”
Hafizh Syahrin P21
“Not a bad day overall. We still have a lot to do tomorrow in order to improve, but I think the feeling is already better than it was at previous rounds. We’ve made some changes to the front of the bike but while in some sections I was able to ride quite well, in others I was struggling a little with the turning so we need to better understand that. We’ll see tomorrow and I’m hoping for stable conditions, wet or dry but preferably not a combination of both.”