The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda team has concluded what has been a challenging third round of the 2023 Superbike World Championship at Assen by scoring points in race 2 with rider Hafizh Syahrin.
In cool but sunny conditions, the brief Superpole race started a little later than scheduled when an incident for another rider left dirt on the track. One lap into the shortened 8-lap race and riders Granado and Syahrin were lying nineteenth and twentieth. Sticking close to each other, the pair moved up a place on lap two before exchanging positions on lap three. While Hafizh was able to maintain a consistent pace and hold eighteenth for the remainder of the race, Eric slipped back a little in the final lap to cross the line twenty-first.
The riders were back out for the weekend’s final 21-lap race at 2pm local time. The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda duo made up ground through the opening laps, with Syahrin lying seventeenth and Granado nineteenth by lap four. Both gained three more positions by the mid-race point, with the Malaysian moving into the points zone, followed by the Brazilian, sixteenth. Syahrin ran an undisturbed final part of the race to cross the line fourteenth and score two championship points, while Granado closed this final race in seventeenth position.
Syahrin now holds four points and places nineteenth in the championship standings, while Granado is yet to score points this season. The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda team will now prepare for the fourth WorldSBK round, scheduled to run at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit on 6-8 May.
Hafizh Syahrin P14
“I’m very happy with our race 2 result as we scored two championship points. The Superpole race was also very useful and helped us to understand what we could do better in today’s final race, which turned out well. We might not be scoring points in every race but we did it at every racing weekend and we’re definitely taking steps round by round, repaying the efforts of everyone who is working so hard. I want to thank the team and all those supporting me. We now have a little time to rest before turning our attentions to the Catalunya round in two weeks’ time.”
Eric Granado P17
“Well, the first half of the race went a lot better than yesterday and I felt that I had a good rhythm and was able to stick with the group. Then unfortunately from mid-race onwards I found myself struggling with arm pump, which meant I had to slow my pace quite significantly. I’d been suffering with this since Friday actually and I seemed to be recovering gradually but in this final race of the weekend, after completing so many laps, I guess my arm conceded defeat. Like I say, the first half of the race was positive, and I’ve taken a good step in terms of my confidence with the bike, but now we need to understand my physical condition and the bike setting in preparation for the next Barcelona round.”