WorldSBK - A complicated Saturday for PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team at Mandalika2023-03-08 09:22
Competing at the Mandalika International Street Circuit in Indonesia this weekend, the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team has concluded the first of the Superbike races in sixteenth position, with rider Hafizh Syahrin. Eric Granado was unfortunately unable to take part due to illness.
During the morning’s Superpole, both Syahrin and Granado did their best but were not able to improve on their initial times after mounting fresh tyres in the final stages. A 1’34.678 for Syahrin saw him close nineteenth, while a best of 1’34.940 meant that Granado qualified twentieth for the first races of the weekend. Having struggled with gastroenteritis earlier in the day, Granado was subsequently deemed unfit to continue and therefore did not take part in the afternoon’s race.
The first of the weekend’s 21-lap Superbike races ran according to schedule and in dry conditions. From row seven of the grid, Syahrin held his position for the first half of the race before gaining one place. The race proved to be something of a solitary affair for the Malaysian, who soon found himself several seconds removed from the riders immediately ahead and behind, which prevented him from making any further progress. Syahrin thus crossed the line in sixteenth position in today’s Race 1, just missing out on the points zone.
Hafizh Syahrin P16
“A tough race today. It was very hard to keep pace with those immediately ahead of me. I was struggling to find speed out of the corners, as the rear doesn’t seem to offer enough traction. I tried different things to try and remedy this throughout the race but unfortunately nothing really helped. So we need to understand why this is, take a look at the data, and make a change ahead of tomorrow’s races. I trust that, by working together, we will be able to improve.”
Eric Granado DNS
“I haven’t felt well since Wednesday to be honest, but I was able to do in free practice on Friday. But this morning I woke up very weak again. I tried to take part in FP3 and Superpole, and even improved somewhat in that qualifying session, but I felt like I had no strength and so went to the medical centre. In the end, the doctors decided I should sit out today’s race and see how I feel tomorrow. I think it was the right decision considering how long the race is and how hot is it here. I want to apologise to the team and to Honda though because everyone worked so hard to provide me with a competitive bike. I hope to feel better tomorrow so that I can get back on track for the day’s races.”
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