The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda team is at Donington Park this weekend, its riders Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin competing in the sixth round of the 2023 Supersport World Championship.
The morning’s Superpole phase got underway on a dry track but under very cloudy skies. Mackenzie was soon able to set a time that saw him place mid-field, the British rider then pushing to improve on that reference around his home track, lap after lap. Shaving off valuable tenths throughout the 20-minute qualifying and taking close to two seconds off his best time of yesterday, Tarran closed with a best of 1’31.028 which meant that he scored a fifth row start (fifteenth) for the weekend’s races. Malaysian rider Norrodin, who had not seen the Donington track before yesterday, was able to set a time in the final minutes of this brief qualifying (1’33.697) to place thirtieth at the session’s end.
The first of the weekend’s 19-lap races got underway as scheduled at 3.15pm local time in sunny conditions. From the fifth row of the grid, Mackenzie was in sixteenth place on lap one. Battling hard mid-field, the Brit was lapping quite consistently for the best part of the race. On lap twelve Tarran set his fastest time and was enjoying one of his strongest performances of the season so far. Unfortunately a small problem in the latter stages ultimately prevented him from crossing the line, but the Brit remains optimistic about tomorrow’s second race, spurred on by the positive sensations he had during the first part of race 1. Team-mate Norrodin had his work cut out starting from further back on the grid, but the young Malaysian nevertheless did his best to make up ground early on. Making up five positions already in the first two laps, Adam was looking quite determined but it was not meant to be, a small technical issue ruling him out the race after three laps.
The final race of this sixth WorldSSP round will play out tomorrow afternoon at the Donington Park track.
“That was probably my best dry race of the year so far. Lap times were quite consistent, and I was feeling OK on the bike, riding more or less alone. My fastest lap came a good way into the race, but then a small problem with the bike gradually got worse and meant that I eventually had to pull in. But everything had been going well up until that point, which leaves me confident that we can run a good race tomorrow.”
“At the start of the race I wasn’t doing too badly. I don’t have much mileage around this track of course and so my aim was to stick with the group and try to learn from other riders in order to be better prepared for tomorrow’s race. We changed a few things on the bike before the race and my feeling was better than it had been during the qualifying so that was positive. It’s a shame I couldn’t complete the race, but we will continue to work as always and try and keep on learning and improving”.