Eazi Grip

MIE Racing Honda riders Adam Norrodin and Tarran Mackenzie miss out on points at WorldSBK Misano

Friday at Misano brings challenges for Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin

On track at the Misano World Circuit, PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda riders Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin have completed the first sessions making up round four of the Superbike World Championship in twenty-first and twenty-fourth place respectively.

The day’s first practice making up this fourth WorldSBK Championship round ran mid-morning in warm and sunny conditions. Making use of data collected during last month’s test at the same Misano track, the riders and their respective technicians worked to identify an effective set-up for their CBR1000RR-R bikes. The session was soon halted after an problem for another rider necessitated a red flag. Heading back out a few minutes later, both Mackenzie and Norrodin worked hard to build feeling and confidence around the Italian track, although a few technical challenges hindered their progress during this first phase. A 1’35.930 for Tarran saw him place twenty-second, followed by team-mate Adam, twenty-fourth with a time of 1’37.399.

The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda duo was back out later in the afternoon for second practice. On a much hotter track, Mackenzie soon improved on his best time of the morning and continued to do so throughout the session after making a few changes to his bike. A best of 1’35.105, set in the final stages, saw the British rider place twenty-first in the combined standings. Norrodin made progress with respect to this morning but could not lower his lap time, which leaves the Malaysian twenty-fourth and keen to find more in order to be able to move closer to his teammate.

Tarran Mackenzie: “FP2 went a lot better than the morning’s session after we went back to a setting we’d used during the recent test. Testing here was strange and saw us making a series of changes following a few problems, which meant we weren’t riding the same bike the whole time. So, for this afternoon, we went back to basics and changed a couple of little things that made the difference, allowing me to set my best lap time and move closer to those in front. We end the day in a positive way and hopefully we can go back out tomorrow and continue to improve as we prepare for Race 1.”

Adam Norrodin: “I’m working with a new crew chief this weekend and we tried something different in FP1 but it didn’t work. We then made quite a big change for FP2 which helped me to improve the feeling but for some reason the lap times are not coming. Honestly, I know that there are still things I need to improve personally speaking, so that’s my target for tomorrow, while in terms of the bike, we’re still missing something on corner exit. We’ll continue to work on this, but it all takes time of course. Let’s see if we can take another step already tomorrow.”

A problematic Race One for the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team at Misano

The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda team has completed the first Superbike World Championship race at Misano with Norrodin closing twentieth and Mackenzie retiring from the race.

During the morning’s third and final practice, which took place on a cooler track, Norrodin was able to improve on his best time of yesterday. Making the most of the 20-minute session, both he and team-mate Tarran made small refinements to setup ahead of the Superpole. While Tarran put in a fastest time of 1’35.174, Adam set a 1’36.896.

The subsequent 15-minute Superpole session ran in sunny conditions. Both Tarran and Adam set their best times during their second exit. A fastest reference of 1’34.422 for the Brit and a 1’36.082 for the Malaysian saw them place twenty-first and twenty-fourth respectively, meaning that they qualified on rows seven and eight of the grid for Race 1.

At 2pm local time it was time for the first race of the weekend, the riders lining up in hot and fairly windy conditions (air temp. 29°C, track temp. 44°C). Tarran got away well when the lights went out and was up to sixteenth by the end of lap 1 but slipped back a few positions over the subsequent laps. His lap times briefly picked up from around lap six, but a gap had inevitably opened up in the meantime. Struggling with technical difficulties that saw him lying twenty-first on lap nine, the Brit ultimately decided to pit, his race therefore coming to a premature end. Adam meanwhile held twenty-second for the first nine laps of the race before gaining two positions. From there, the Malaysian held firm in twentieth, gritting his teeth to complete the race and collect useful data for tomorrow’s races.

The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team will be back out at the Misano World Circuit on Sunday, competing in the Superpole Race and second Superbike race.

Tarran Mackenzie: “We made a good step this morning in terms of lap time, and I felt good in qualifying. My best lap ended up getting cancelled, but I was happy anyway. We then made a small change for the race, but unfortunately this made a big difference to the feeling I had on the bike. This created a few problems, and I wasn’t comfortable riding at all. Tomorrow we’ll try something else and will hopefully have a better race!”

Adam Norrodin: “We didn’t have the best qualifying. We improved on our lap time right away and were even quicker than we’d been in testing actually. I’m sure I could have done more on my final flying lap in qualifying but unfortunately, I nearly lost the front at turn 11 and so missed out on the chance to improve, which was a pity. The race wasn’t so bad, at least through the first six or seven laps, but then I started to struggle with the front. At least we completed the race, but we have many things to work through and understand ahead of tomorrow’s races.”

Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin take the positives from a difficult Misano WorldSBK weekend

Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin remain optimistic despite finishing Sunday’s WorldSBK races at the Misano World Circuit outside the points zone.

The Superpole Race got underway on Sunday morning, at 11am local time.   Twenty-first on the grid, Tarran quickly gained ground, moving up three places during the course of lap one. The Brit battled hard to hold sixteenth position but slipped back a little in the latter stages, concluding the ten-lap sprint in eighteenth place.
In a similar vein, Adam made up three positions during the first part of this brief race before his pace dropped off slightly over the final laps. The Malaysian ultimately crossed the line twenty-first.

The weekend’s second and final 21-lap Superbike race played out in hot conditions in the early afternoon. Tarran worked hard to stick with the group ahead and make up positions from twenty-first on the grid. The British rider had progressed to seventeenth by the mid-race point but began to lose ground in the final stages, eventually crossing the line in nineteenth position. From row eight of the grid, Adam started well and was doing his best to settle into a rhythm when a Turn 2 crash on only the second lap unfortunately put paid to his progress and his race.

With four rounds now complete, Mackenzie lies twentieth in the general standings with seven points. Round five of the WorldSBK championship round will see the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team travel to Donington Park in the UK, with the British round taking place on 12-14 July.

Tarran Mackenzie: “In warm-up, we went back to the bike we had in qualifying and that felt better. I felt pretty good in the Superpole race too, while in the long race I felt that my pace was ok, and I was able to stick with Oettl quite comfortably once he passed me. I had a couple of moments with the front tyre and then a bigger moment when I lost the front and had to save it on my elbow. That allowed Ray to get past me and I lost the advantage I’d had earlier on in terms of braking late and stopping the bike. I was lacking a little rear grip too, which made the situation hard to manage. I must have nearly crashed ten times, so over the last few laps I just focused on getting to the finish to be honest. The weekend started out really challenging on Friday and, while I felt pretty good in qualifying, the races were a little difficult to manage. I think we’ve improved the feeling with the bike though, so hopefully we now have something of a direction to follow as we head to home round Donington, which I’m excited for.”

Adam Norrodin: “As for the Superpole race, I was at least able to set my best lap time of the weekend, but I struggled a little to keep the pace, which meant I lost contact with the group. When we try to go faster, that’s when the problems seem to arise. There’s not much to say about Race 2, of course. I felt quite confident on the bike at the start, as we’d made some changes that seemed to improve the turning. I was pushing hard to try and stick with the guys ahead when I lost the front at Turn 2 and unfortunately couldn’t continue with the race. So not the results we want, but the progression from the previous round is clear and I’m starting to feel more comfortable on the bike, though there’s still more to do, of course.”

Posted on Monday, June 17th, 2024 in News

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