The sixth Supersport World Championship weekend is now underway at Donington Park in the UK, with the first free practice sessions having played out today in mixed conditions. Out on track with riders Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodon, the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda riders used the weekend’s opening sessions to start to adapt their CBR600RR machines to the historic British track.
The first free practice ran mid-morning on a dry track but in rather cool conditions. Norrodin, who is competing at Donington for the first time, used this initial session to start to understand the track layout. 2021 BSB champion Mackenzie, who is riding at his home track, was keen to get to work with his technicians in such familiar surroundings. The session was briefly interrupted with a red flag when another rider crashed with ten minutes to go, but resumed shortly afterwards, with riders pushing to improve their times in the final stages. By the end of this first 45-minute session, a 1’32.707 saw Tarran place twenty-fifth at the session’s end, while team-mate Adam closed in thirty-second position with a 1’36.237.
Session two was conditioned by rain, with almost all riders spending the first part of the practice in the garage. Norrodin elected to make a few laps in the wet early on, before returning to the pits and waiting for conditions to improve. Considering that the train remained fully wet throughout, no one was able to improve on their FP1 times, which meant that Mackenzie placed twenty-fifth in the day’s aggregate standings and Norrodin thirty-second.
The team will continue with their preparations this evening ahead of tomorrow’s Superpole qualifying session and first race of the weekend.
“During FP1 the bike felt a lot better than it did at Misano, the electronics felt good and everything was working well. In FP2 we were out in the rain for the first time since Phillip Island. We did well at Phillip Island but actually rode there with a dry set-up, while today we tested the rain set-up for the first time. We might not have found the right setting, but we nevertheless collected some useful information and it was important to complete some laps in the rain on this new track surface. For sure I can be faster but everything’s going smoothly so far, and we look forward to tomorrow.”
“This is the first time I’m riding here at Donington and it’s not an easy track to learn to be honest. I’d done a track walk yesterday and could see that the first sector would be tricky. I need a little more time to build confidence I think, and unfortunately I didn’t make the best start in FP1 this morning. We made some changes for FP2 but we again had a few issues that we will do our best to iron out tomorrow. I haven’t been able to make a decent run yet, also due to the conditions, but hopefully we can make good progress tomorrow.”