A challenging Race 1 for Pawi and Toba in mixed conditions at Assen

A challenging Race 1 for Pawi and Toba in mixed conditions at Assen

SSP Race
Also available in: Japanese

The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team and its riders Khairul Idham Pawi and Kaito Toba are at the TT Circuit Assen for round three of the Supersport World Championship, the first race of which ran in mixed conditions today.

A challenging Race 1 for Pawi and Toba in mixed conditions at Assen

The new 2024 Supersport format means that on Saturday riders only have a brief warm-up session in which to make final preparations for the afternoon’s first race. After a Friday that was largely conditioned by cold, wet weather, Pawi and Toba did their best to make the most of this ten-minute phase. With almost half the SSP field having been unable to set a time quick enough to officially qualify in yesterday’s tricky conditions, it was decided that these riders would need to record a sufficiently fast time this morning to secure entry to the weekend’s races. A wet track meant that times were less disparate, with both Khairul and Kaito doing enough to earn a spot on the starting line, on the ninth and tenth row of the grid respectively, based on their performance in warm-up and the order in which they placed in Friday’s Superpole.

The first of the weekend’s two Supersport races got underway according to schedule at 3.15pm local time but ran on a track that was part wet, part dry. Toba opted for slicks, while Pawi and several other riders began the race on rain tyres. The PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda riders got away well when the lights went out, particularly the Malaysian, who made up thirteen positions through lap one to place fourteenth. Part of a compact group of riders, Khairul oscillated between eleventh and fifteenth place in the early stages. Opting to return to the pits on lap eight to switch to slick tires, he found himself at the back of the field as he rejoined the race. Pawi did what he could but ultimately crossed the line twenty-third. Japanese rider Kaito worked hard to get into a rhythm in the tricky conditions, making up a little ground in the early stages and gaining another two positions by the mid-race point to place twenty-second. Having lost contact with the group after taking evasive action to avoid a crashed rider, Toba ran a solitary second half of the race, but nevertheless managed to cross the line, holding firm to close in twenty-fourth position.


Khairul Idham Pawi Khairul Idham Pawi WorldSSP Rider #89

"“Today’s race was very difficult. I had good feeling with the rain tyres in the early stages but then the rear started to slide around too much and I preferred to come in and change over to slicks. It was a little late to make the change, but we’ve learned for next time. I was also struggling with the electronics, so a tough race all in all, but we hope we can do more tomorrow, especially if the conditions are a bit better than they’ve been today.”"

Kaito Toba Kaito Toba WorldSSP Rider #27

"“We decided to take the risk and go out on slick tyres for the race. I don't regret this decision, and I think it was important to work in this direction. I moved up a few positions in the initial stages and was inside the top 20 early on, until another rider crashed and forced me to run wide. In that moment I lost the group and had no reference for the rest of the race. Let's see what the weather is like tomorrow, and we'll give it our all once again in race 2.”"

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