German sensation catches the attention of his rivals with an impressive first day performance in Thailand!
In an interesting Friday Free Practice day, it was surprise package Sandro Cortese who caught everyone’s attention by placing third on combined times. The German, who is the reigning WorldSSP champion, powered into the top three positions, with only Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) able to better him.
Setting a lap time of 1’33.465, the Rookie racked up an impressive 35 laps on his YZF R1 Yamaha, the first time that both he and the team have ridden the Chang International Circuit in the WorldSBK class.
Speaking after the session, Cortese said: Today was really positive, we started already this morning with a good base set-up coming from Phillip Island. Of course, we had to adjust it because Phillip Island is a completely different race track. After FP1, I think we worked in the correct direction. I was already fast in the faster corners so in FP2, we improved in the braking areas.”
The 29-year-old continued: “My main goal is to learn, to stay calm and to build up confidence to understand the bike. Day by day, I am always understanding more and more about the bike. With every lap, self-confidence is growing! I am happy with P3 today but I know to always keep my feet on the ground and work for the race.”
Germany’s best result at the Chang International Circuit came in Race 1 2016, with Markus Reiterberger (5th). The last German rider to score four consecutive top-eight finishes was Max Neukirchner, in Races 1 and 2 at both Brno and Brands Hatch, 2008 (7th, 5th, 7th, 4th). This is a record that Cortese could break in Race 1 on Saturday afternoon.
Watch Sandro Cortese and the rest of the quality WorldSBK field in action at the Pirelli Thai Round with the WorldSBK VideoPass!