The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team is at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve this weekend, competing in the eleventh World Supersport round with riders Tarran Mackenzie, Andrea Migno and wild card Ibrahim Norrodin.
Qualifying ran in hot and sunny conditions earlier in the day. During the 20-minute phase, all three riders worked hard to lower their lap times and secure the best possible position on the grid for the first of the weekend’s races. With just over three minutes on the clock, a setback for Mackenzie saw him run off track, which unfortunately caused the session to be momentarily red flagged. With the session resuming just a couple of minutes later, the entire field had time to complete just one fast lap. Mackenzie concluded twenty-fifth with a fastest time of 1’45.765, while Migno set a 1’46.068 to place twenty-seventh and Norrodin a 1’46.539 to finish thirtieth. Race Direction subsequently cancelled all of Migno’s lap times due to the fact that he failed to wear a chest protector during the session, a technical infringement, which unfortunately meant that the Italian was forced to start from the back of the grid.
The first of the weekend’s two 17-lap Supersport races ran at 3.15pm local time and saw the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda trio lining up on the ninth and tenth row of the grid. Mackenzie immediately made up several positions and was lying twenty-first after the first lap, part of a group of seven or eight riders. Tarran made good progress throughout the first half of the race, moving up into seventeenth by lap seven. The Brit maintained strong pace from start to finish but nevertheless lost a little ground in the latter part of the race, crossing the line twenty-second. Migno and Norrodin placed twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth through the initial stages, both doing their best to find the kind of pace that would allow them to stick with the riders immediately ahead. Taking part in his first ever Supersport race, Italian rider Migno ran a steady first half of the race but returned to the garage on lap ten after experiencing a technical issue. After making a brief pitstop, Andrea returned to the track in order to collate more data for the team, completing the race albeit in twenty-seventh position. Wildcard Ibrahim did very well to gain three positions fairly early on, and a further two through the final stages, ultimately crossing the line a valiant twenty-fourth.
Tarran Mackenzie P22
“I made quite a good start in the race and was part of a group lying seventeenth to about twenty-fourth. At one point I reached the front of the group but then they came back past me towards the end of the straight. I tried to fight back as much as possible, and it wasn’t too bad. I was able to set some good times when riding by myself but had more trouble when I was in the group. I’m quite happy with the chassis anyway, and we’ll try again tomorrow.”
Ibrahim Norrodin P24
“Today’s race was very hard. I tried to push to the limit, but I felt that I was almost battling with the bike and making a lot of mistakes. I tried to limit the gap to those ahead of me but a few too many errors made that very hard. I wasn’t expecting too much from this first race, and we have clearly improved throughout the weekend, but we need to try and find something more if we want to be more competitive in race 2. Thanks so much to my team for doing their best to provide me with a good bike.”
Andrea Migno P27
“Unfortunately, I received a penalty which saw me having to start the race from last position. Then in the race we had a technical issue that meant I quickly began to lose contact with those ahead. This continued until about lap ten when I decided to come into the pits to see if the problem could be resolved, after which I went back out and completed the race just to collect more data. Now we’ll try to understand what happened and continue working to see if we can do more tomorrow.”