Mahias leads the march to Tissot-Superpole 2

Friday, 23 February 2018 04:41 GMT

The reigning Champion ends Day 1 on top, with Krummenacher and Cortese on the chase

Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) leads the World Supersport ranks into the first Tissot-Superpole sessions of the year, with the Frenchman – and reigning champion – ending Friday action exactly four tenths clear of nearest rival Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team). Swiss rider Krummenacher returns to the class in 2018 after proving a race winner two years ago and was immediately up to speed to impress, as was the fastest rookie on Day 1, 2012 Moto3™ World Champion Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing).

Friday at Phillip Island was a damp one, with early morning drizzle then drying out – before rain over the break in the middle of the day affected track conditions once more. The only two men to improve in the second session were five-time champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and newcomer to the class Mike di Meglio (GMT94 Yamaha) as the track just about dried out by the end of the session. Sofuoglu, with his 1:33.576 in FP2, ended the day in fourth behind Cortese, leapfrogging Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) to put Kawasaki into a top five dominated by Yamaha and completed by Caricasulo.

Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) was the quickest Italian machine in sixth – just ahead of Aussie home hero and second Kawasaki representative Anthony West (EAB antwest Racing), who took seventh and goes straight through to Superpole 2 on his return to the class. Championship stalwart Jules Cluzel (NRT) was eighth fastest on Friday, ahead of British rider Luke Stapleford’s (Profile Racing) Triumph Daytona 675. Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini) completed the top ten as the final direct graduate to Tissot-Superpole 2 – with his Honda making it five manufacturers heading through to fight for the top ten on the grid.

Niki Tuuli (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) just missed the cut and will be pushing to move through on Saturday in Superpole 1, as will Ayrton Badovini (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag), who was within a tenth of the Finnish rider ahead of him.

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