The Portuguese Superbike World Championship round continues at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, with Hafizh Syahrin and Eric Granado hard at work in the Superbike class with the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda team.
The riders used the morning’s final practice session to make some last setup refinements, with Syahrin able to take another small step in terms of lap time. He and Granado were back out at 11.10am local time for the Superpole phase. During this brief 15-minute qualifying phase, Hafizh soon ducked under the 1’42 barrier, closing with a best of 1’41.895 to qualify eighteenth. Eric was also able to set his fastest time of the weekend, the Brazilian placing twentieth with a 1’42.298.
The lights went out on race 1 at 2pm local time. Running over a distance of 20 laps, the race got off to a tricky start for Hafizh and Eric, who both lost ground through the opening lap to find themselves in twenty-second and twenty-third place. Each was able to make up a couple of positions during the first half of the race but the gaps that had opened in the meantime prevented them from progressing any further than twentieth, for Hafizh, and twenty-first, for Eric.
The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda riders will return to the track tomorrow morning to compete in the short Superpole race and the second 20-lap Superbike race.
“Not the best race for us. I had good rhythm in practice and early on in qualifying but then we had a technical issue during my second qualifying exit, which prevented me from improving on my initial time. I tried my best in the race but unfortunately the same issue hindered our progress, and we couldn’t do more than twentieth. I want to thank my technicians for all their hard work but unfortunately that’s how it went today. I’m disappointed but with any luck we can do a little more tomorrow.”
“Our aim was to try and take another step with respect to yesterday and I think we were able to do that in race 1, finding slightly better race pace. I did a little better than I thought I might and was able to run with Hafizh for a while. I did what I could with what we have right now, I think, and now we’ll look at the data and see what we can do in preparation for tomorrow’s races.”