The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team is on track at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal, competing in the penultimate round of the Supersport World Championship with three riders this weekend. Permanent entry Tarran Mackenzie is joined in the garage by replacement rider Andrea Migno, standing in for Adam Norrodin, and by wildcard entry Ibrahim Norrodin.
In the morning’s first practice, which took place in hot and sunny conditions, Mackenzie got off to a very constructive start, lowering his time throughout the phase and working in a positive direction with his technicians. Migno used his very first session aboard the CBR6000RR as a learning exercise, considering that he is riding a new bike with new tyres and working together with a new team. Wildcard Norrodin, he too competing in only his second WorldSSP round, made a step forward mid-session, the modifications made to his machine allowing him to gradually improve and build confidence around a track he has never seen before. The session was red-flagged mid-way through following an incident for a fellow rider but resumed just a few minutes later. By the session’s end, Mackenzie was lying twenty-third (1’46.438), Migno twenty-eighth (1’46.869) and Norrodin thirty-first (1’47.650).
Free practice 2 got underway at 4pm on a much hotter track. All three riders concentrated primarily on their preparation for the weekend’s races but were also able to lower their lap times and build their confidence around the very challenging Portimão track in the process. Mackenzie put in a 1’45.872, Migno a 1’46.454 and Norrodin a 1’47.314, which saw the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda trio place twenty-second, twenty-seventh and thirty-first respectively in the day’s combined standings.
Tarran Mackenzie P22
“Today I probably had one of my most positive days on the bike so far. I had good feeling right away in FP1 and the bike was working well, and the same can be said of FP2. Perhaps I could have improved a little more if I’d been a little cleaner in my riding, but I’m happy with the feeling and am looking forward to getting back to it tomorrow. The heat’s no problem for me on the bike and doesn’t seem to be an issue in terms of the tyres either, so that’s good.”
Andrea Migno P27
“My first approach has been quite positive and I’m not far from Tarran, who’s my reference point right now. Our expectations are realistic of course, in that we’re trying to close in on the riders ahead of us, and that’s something well within our reach, I think. There’s still work to do but tomorrow we have another chance to improve in FP3 and qualifying as we make final preparations for the races.”
Ibrahim Norrodin P31
“We’ve had quite a challenging start to the weekend. It’s my first time at this track, which is amazing but super technical, and I haven’t had much time to get used to this rollercoaster layout. FP1 was a lot of trial and error really as we worked to find a good base setup and then in FP2 I was still working to get the bike to do what I was asking of it. Towards the end of the day my crew chief and I identified what might be a good solution for tomorrow, so we’ll try that and can hopefully improve as a result.”