Eazi Grip

Tarran Mackenzie in the points in both WorldSBK races at Assen for MIE Honda Racing

Rain affects day one at Assen

World Superbike is back in action at a (wet) TT Circuit Assen, where the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team has completed the weekend’s first free practice sessions with riders Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin.

FP1 ran in very cold conditions, the track damp as the session got underway. The circumstances did not exactly facilitate matters as Mackenzie and Norrodin got started on setting up their CBR1000RR-R machines together with their technicians. Having elected to remain in the garage during the first part of the practice along with the rest of the SBK field, the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda riders were able to gradually improve on their times towards the end of the phase, setting a best of 1’38.089 (Tarran) and 1’40.150 (Adam) to place twenty-second and twenty-third at the session’s end.

With work to do during FP2, the riders unfortunately faced another wet session, with rain falling on and off throughout the day. Norrodin headed straight out, working to build feeling on the damp surface, while Mackenzie chose to wait ten minutes or so before making a first exit. The session was red-flagged with sixteen minutes left on the clock due to safety conditions, with the rain returning during that brief interruption. The resulting track conditions meant that no one was able to improve any further on their references once the session resumed, although Mackenzie and Norrodin did utilise the track time.

The SBK riders will be back out tomorrow for qualifying and the first of the weekend’s three races, with more rain forecast over the next 24 hours.

Tarran Mackenzie P22

Typical Assen weather, one minute it’s dry and then it pours a minute later! I felt quite good in the rain this afternoonthough. It’s my first time riding this bike in the rain and Im semi new to riding with traction control, so understanding this and what I need from the traction has been the most important thing, as we never had traction control at all in BSB, never mind in the rain. Unfortunately, we didn’t really get enough laps in today, wet or dry. From the end of Barcelona, we’ve gone in a direction that we hope might be better, but we need more time to really see. We’ll try again tomorrow.”

Adam Norrodin P23

Not an easy day and of the course the weather hasn’t helped, with track conditions that have been mixed for much of the time. It’s hard for us to set up the bike like this, especially on what is my first visit to Assen with the Superbike. My feeling is OK in the wet, but the important thing is to be sorted in the dry, so we’ll keep working and try to find something in tomorrow’s FP3. We still have a lot of room to improve of course; I need to build my confidence and so that will be my main goal tomorrow.”

Points for Tarran Mackenzie in WorldSBK Race One

The weather conditions continued to challenge PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda riders Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin today, as they took on Superpole and the first race of this Dutch WorldSBK round.

Following on from yesterday’s mixed conditions, this morning’s third and final practice ran in the rain on a full wet track. Mackenzie and Norrodin took the opportunity to build confidence with the CBR1000RR-R in the challenging conditions so as to be prepared in case of any wet races this weekend. British rider Tarran in particular, a SSP race winner in mixed conditions last season, demonstrated strong potential during this final practice. Conditions were much the same for the subsequent Superpole session, in which the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda riders pushed as hard as they dared in the wet to secure a strong grid position for race 1. Despite the phase lasting just 15 minutes, the track was quickly drying and times tumbling as a result. An impressive 1’44.112 for Tarran meant that the Brit qualified fourteenth for race 1, earning a place on row five of the grid. Adam unfortunately had a tougher time, with a best of 1’47.083 putting the Malaysian twenty-first at the end of the session.

The 21-lap race ran according to schedule but got underway in full wet conditions. From fourteenth, Mackenzie was lying sixteenth by the end of lap one, followed by Norrodin, seventeenth, both riders having elected to go out on slick tyres. By lap five, Tarran was up to thirteenth, but the track was quickly drying out, with lap times dropping rapidly throughout the first half of the race. Gaps began to open up, but Tarran and Adam were able to maintain a pace that allowed them to hold fourteenth and seventeenth place. A red flag brought the race to a premature conclusion on lap fourteen, after another competitor left oil on the track. This meant that Mackenzie and Norrodin classified fourteenth and seventeenth respectively, with Tarran scoring his first two championship points of the 2024 season with this result.

This Dutch WorldSBK round will conclude tomorrow with the Superpole race and second 21-lap Superbike race.

Tarran Mackenzie P14

“In qualifying I felt like I might have been able to do a little more. We’d changed the setting which gave me good feeling but towards the end maybe I needed to go a little stiffer; we were quite close to the guys in front though, so I was happy with that. In the race, it was quite strange to have a full wet first sector and then the rest of the track in either mixed or dry conditions, so it was a matter of figuring that out. I think we took the right decision anyway and have scored a few points. I felt pretty good overall and can hopefully improve tomorrow in the dry, and have another good day if it turns out to be wet.”

Adam Norrodin P17

“I’m really disappointed with today’s race. The weather was strange, with some section of the track fully wet and others completely dry, so it was very hard to decide which tyre to use. We went with dry in the end, but already after two laps some rain returned. I decided to stay out because this track tends to dry out fast, but even when that happened, I found I couldn’t really exploit the fact I was on slicks and was struggling to ride. I finished seventeenth, but too far off the pace, so we need to try and find a way to improve already tomorrow.”

Tarran Mackenzie just outside the top 10 in Race Two

Competing for the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team, rider Tarran Mackenzie has concluded the Dutch WorldSBK round at Assen with a very encouraging eleventh place finish in an action-packed second Superbike race.

With the wet weather having conditioned sessions across Friday and Saturday, the SBK field was not surprised to face cold, damp conditions for the morning warm-up, with most riders choosing not to exit so as to avoid any unnecessary risks. Norrodin completed just a couple of laps, while Mackenzie remained in the garage.

Conditions remained cold but dry for the ten-lap Superpole sprint race. From fourteenth, Mackenzie lost ground through lap one, slipping to eighteenth and giving himself work to do as the race progressed. Doing his best to get into a rhythm, the British rider was able to gain one position during this brief sprint, crossing the line seventeenth. Twenty-first on the grid, Norrodin did his best to stick with the riders immediately ahead but soon lost contact. On lap five, Adam took the decision to pit, having struggled with an electronics issue.

The second and final 21-lap Superbike race started in the dry at 2pm local time (CET). Mackenzie held fourteenth through the first corners, while Norrodin moved into twenty-first a couple of laps in. The Malaysian made up another position on lap five, while the Brit found a good rhythm, battling with fellow Honda rider Vierge during the central phase of the race for twelfth place. Rain began to fall with eleven laps to go but did not overly impact on the action, with the track surface soon drying again. Fighting all the way to the line to reach the top ten, Mackenzie retained a strong pace throughout and crossed the line an encouraging eleventh, just one tenth of a second from tenth. Norrodin was determined to complete the race and collect more important data, the young Malaysian crossing the line twentieth.

With the seven points scored this weekend, Mackenzie now places nineteenth in the general standings, while Norrodin is yet to score points. The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team now has a long wait for the fourth WorldSBK round, which will run at the Misano World Circuit in Italy over the weekend of 14-16 June.

Tarran Mackenzie P11

“We have worked well as a team together, it was a very positive weekend and a really good race today. P11 is my best SBK result to date, and it was great to score some solid points. My bike is the same as in Barcelona, but I’m just starting to understand riding this bike a little bit more. And any more experience each race is helping a lot in a race situation. I’m pleased was I was able to keep pace with some good riders and I feel I’ve gained a lot of useful experience. It was raining at points but I managed the situation the best I could and really enjoyed the race. It was good to be in the mix, good for my confidence and for pushing on for the next races, so I’m very happy and can’t thank the team enough.”

Adam Norrodin P20

“A really difficult weekend for me. We had an electronics problem during the Superpole race, which is why I had to come into the pits in the end. We made a big change for Race 2 and the feeling was better, but we need to understand more in order to come to a good compromise in terms of setup. I also struggled with arm pump this weekend, which was strange. I had no problems with it in Australia or Spain, but it’s been an issue here, so I need to understand how to manage that situation and improve my general feeling with the bike. Hopefully we can find something during our next test session next month; we need to work out how to make progress.”

Posted on Monday, April 22nd, 2024 in News

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