Eazi Grip

The WorldSBK learning curve continues for Petronas MIE Honda at Barcelona


On track with riders Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin, the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team has completed the weekend’s first free practice sessions making up round two of the Superbike World Championship at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.

Having tested at the same Barcelona track just a few days ago, both Tarran and Adam started with the base set-up identified during those sessions. Making only small adjustments throughout the opening FP1, which ran in dry, sunny conditions, both made gradual progress despite the track offering little grip. In warmer conditions, the team was back on track for the afternoon’s FP2. The higher temperatures did nothing to improve grip levels, though the session allowed the team to continue its preparations ahead of tomorrow’s first race. Considering the focus on race distance, Mackenzie did not improve on his earlier time and rounded out day 1 with a best of 1’43.180, set early on in FP1. Norrodin on the other hand was able to find a little more during the afternoon, improving on his FP1 time by a good six tenths to set a best of 1’44.280. With these references, the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda duo finished the day in twenty-second and twenty-third position respectively. Tomorrow will see the team compete in the Superpole qualifying session, followed by the first of the weekend’s 20-lap races.

Tarran Mackenzie

“Today’s been quite good. My feeling was a little different compared to the test, some areas were good, others were less good, but overall, I had better consistency and felt more comfortable on the new development tyre Pirelli has brought. I did a longer run this afternoon, focusing more on distance than the flying lap, and that also felt quite good consistency-wise, so hopefully that sets us up for the race. Tomorrow morning we’ll try to fine tune things in the final practice in preparation for qualifying, where we can hopefully secure a good position for the race.”

Adam Norrodin

“In FP1 we tried something different with respect to the test but it didn’t work out and so we went back to something close to the test set-up and I found the feeling again. I’m quite happy, in that we were able to improve on our times with this particular tyre with respect to what we did during testing, but we still have room to improve of course. The track conditions were worse here today compared to testing, I would say, but now we need to see what the weather is like over the weekend. It might be good for us if it’s a bit cooler, but I’m confident we can take another step anyway.”


The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team was back at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today for the first of the races making up the second WorldSBK championship round.

A final free practice allowed riders Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin to make final adjustments to their CBR1000RR-R machines ahead of the qualifying session. Tarran unfortunately suffered an innocuous crash at turn 7 with just a few minutes of FP3 left to run. The rider was unhurt, but the team had to work hard to repair the bike in time for Superpole. Prior to his crash the Brit was riding well, finding an additional half a second with respect to yesterday (42.690). In the cooler conditions, teammate Norrodin was also able to improve on yesterday’s references, setting a time of 1’43.770.

The team tackled Superpole a short time later, both riders doing their best to secure the best possible grid position for the first of the weekend’s races. With only 15 minutes at their disposal, Mackenzie and Norrodin made a brief first exit before pitting to switch tyres midway through the phase. In the final stages, both riders pushed hard to complete a clean lap. While Tarran put in a 1’41.643 to place twenty-second at the session’s end, Adam set a 1’42.793 to finish twenty-third, both therefore qualifying on row eight of the grid for the weekend’s first race.

Race 1 got underway at 2pm and ran in dry, sunny conditions. Tarran and Adam were lying twenty-first and twenty-second by the end of lap one. While Tarran worked to gain ground on the riders immediately ahead, Adam did his best to establish the kind of pace that would allow him to stick close to his teammate, despite having opted for different tyres. Tarran caught up to Oettl mid-race, battling him before getting past him on lap thirteen. Upping his pace over the last five laps or so  in contrast to some of his immediate rivals  the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda rider was able to pass first Rabat and then both Ray and Redding in the final stages. This meant that Mackenzie ultimately crossed the line sixteenth, just two seconds outside the points zone. For team-mate Norrodin, the second half of the race was more challenging, but the Malaysian nevertheless kept his cool and maintained a consistent pace to complete this first race in twentieth position. The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team will round out the Catalunya weekend with tomorrow’s Superpole race and Superbike Race 2.

Tarran Mackenzie 16th

The first couple of laps weren’t the best but then I got into a nice rhythm. I was held up a little mid-race but eventually I was able to get past Oettl and make good inroads into catching those ahead. Im gutted I couldn’t get at least one point after all the effort but it’s a good result anyway, our best so far this year actually, also because we were a lot closer to the front in terms of overall race time. So, I’m much happier and hope we can make some more improvements for tomorrow’s races.”

Adam Norrodin 20th

I’m quite frustrated after this first SBK race at Barcelona, to be honest. I’m disappointed with the gap to the front and I had a lot of problems with the rear tyre, almost highsiding on the very first laps. It seems as if the rear tyre didn’t offer any advantage and it was very hard to carry the speed throughout the race. We need to analyse what happened and can hopefully remedy this for tomorrow. A big thanks to my team anyway, and we’ll keep working to prepare for the next races.”


Demonstrating grit throughout the course of another intense weekend, the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team and riders Tarran Mackenzie and Adam Norrodin have now concluded the second WorldSBK championship round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.

After a morning warm-up that ran on a damp track following light rain just prior to the session, the riders headed out in cloudy but dry conditions for the 11am Superpole race. Both Mackenzie and Norrodin got away well from the eighth row of the grid to place twenty-first and twenty-third through the first turns. It took Tarran a few laps to be able to pass Öttl, after which he was also able to close in on, and pass, Lecuona to place nineteenth. The gap that had opened up in the meantime meant that the Brit was unable to improve further on that position in the laps remaining, the rider thus crossing nineteenth. Race Direction subsequently handed him a one-position penalty for having made brief contact with Lecuona during the course of the action. Norrodin meanwhile struggled to establish a good rhythm in the early stages and ran a rather solitary race, in twenty-third position, after losing contact with his closest rivals. The Malaysian rider crossed the finish line but was unfortunately denied a final race result after running out of fuel on the in lap.

Race 2 kicked off at 2pm local time in dry, cloudy conditions. Once again, both PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda riders made a good start and were able to settle into a rhythm, with Tarran positioning nineteenth and Adam twentieth. The pair made up a couple of positions early on, following crashes for other riders, with Mackenzie showing good pace particularly in the first half of the race. Able to set his fastest time on lap 8, the Brit was setting almost identical times to his closest rivals but began to struggle to maintain his earlier pace in the latter stages due to a drop in tyre performance. Reaching the points zone on lap 14, Tarran did his best to defend the position but dropped to seventeenth with 2 laps to go, a position he held to the line. Adam, again going for a different tyre configuration to Tarran, slipped to nineteenth in the second half of the race, before making up one position later on to finish eighteenth today.

The next WorldSBK round will see the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team compete at the Assen TT Circuit in The Netherlands on 19-21 April.

Tarran Mackenzie

“I was really pleased with the Superpole race. I hadn’t had a chance during FP3 to do a decent long run with the Q tyre, so it was good to be in the mix during the sprint race, and closer to the guys in front too. In the long race, perhaps I didn’t make the right tyre choice, but we didn’t think we needed to change anything with respect to yesterday’s race. It was only afterwards that I saw almost everyone else had switched tyres! But that said, the first half of the race was positive; I was in the group and we were all close. It was nice to be in the fight, and although I perhaps could have saved the tyre a bit for the end of the race, I’m generally happy. So there were positives and negatives but we’ve learned a lot and I’d say that the weekend overall has been a lot more positive.”

Adam Norrodin

“I felt that we improved in terms of lap times today compared to yesterday’s race, when I felt I was trying hard without actually achieving what I wanted. But the pace yesterday was better, and today I struggled even more with the rear tyre. There was a big drop in tyre performance in race 2, which I expected after what we saw yesterday, but it was more dramatic than in race 1. I tried to manage this, but it wasn’t easy. These are our first long races of the season of course, as the Phillip Island races were split in two with a pitstop, so it’s important to collect the data and learn from the experience. The fact Tarran and I went with different tyre configurations means at least we have data to compare, so we’ll keep working and see what we can do next time out at Assen.”

Posted on Monday, March 25th, 2024 in News

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