Round five of the Superbike World Championship is now underway for the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda team, on track at the Misano World Circuit in Italy with riders Hafizh Syahrin and Ryo Mizuno. Japanese rider Mizuno stands in for the injured Eric Granado this weekend.
The first free practice saw Syahrin, now fully recovered following his accident at the previous Barcelona round, make gradual progress. On the other side of the garage, substitute rider Mizuno spent this first 45-minute session getting to grips with both the CBR1000RR-R Superbike and the Italian track, a circuit he is seeing for the first time this weekend. Setting a fastest time of 1’36.584 towards the end of this first phase, the Malaysian placed twenty-second, followed by his Japanese team-mate, twenty-fourth (1’39.303).
Later in the day, and in hotter conditions, the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda duo were back on track for free practice 2. Syahrin was unable to improve on his earlier time, the asphalt also more slippery as a result of the higher temperatures. As a result, he placed twenty-second in the day’s combined standings thanks to the time set in FP1. Having begun to get to grips with the ‘new’ track, Mizuno was able to improve on his earlier reference by almost two seconds during the afternoon, a best of 1’37.513 putting him twenty-fifth at the end of day 1.
Hafizh Syahrin P22
“Today’s been tough, I’m still not comfortable on the bike and it’s a little difficult to manage the braking. I hope we can find a solution tomorrow morning, as I think we can be closer to our rivals. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to make a lot of progress between FP1 and FP2, perhaps also because the track was hotter this afternoon. Anyway, we’ll keep working and try to find something in tomorrow morning’s FP3.”
Ryo Mizuno P25
“I have a lot to learn as it’s all very different to the Japanese championship that I am used to. So I have spent the day learning the track, as it’s my first time here, and getting used to everything. I have used Pirelli tyres in the past, but WorldSBK is new to me. I struggled this morning to find the right line and speed, but I gradually made progress by following some other riders, as this helped me to get into a rhythm and find some reference points on track. I need more track time of course, but I am pleased with the progress made between FP1 and FP2 and was starting to enjoy myself by the end of the afternoon’s session. Hopefully I can continue to move in a good direction tomorrow.”