The Frenchman started his weekend as he means to go on, whilst the BARDAHL Yamaha riders were left further down the order than they’d have liked…
With the lights on and the sun setting, World Supersport action commenced in Qatar for the final round of the Championship. It was all action from the start with the Championship protagonists scattered throughout the top ten, although come the end of the session, it would be Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) who led the way after the opening session. However, there were plenty of surprises featuring inside the top ten.
Cluzel languished for most of the session towards the bottom end of the top ten but the three-time WorldSSP runner-up was in no mood for waiting around. The Frenchman stormed to the top ahead of fellow countryman and two-time Losail winner, Lucas Mahias. Another fellow two-time winner in Qatar, Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing), completed the top three. San Juan pole-sitter Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA) continued his strong form to be fourth, whilst Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) completed the top five.
In sixth place, it was a consistent but uneventful start for Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team), who was outside of the top five for almost all of the session. Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing) was up in seventh but suffered a crash at the end of the session, whilst Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Team), Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) and Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) completed the top ten.
Qatari wildcard Saeed Al Sulaiti (QMMF Racing Team) was 11th, after running inside the top ten for most of the session, much to the delight of the home crowd. Other big names outside of the top ten included Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing) in 13th and his teammate Loris Cresson in 21st. Wildcard Brad Jones (Team Toth) was 23rd on his WorldSSP Losail debut.
Top six after FP1, full results here!
- Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) 2’02.610
- Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.218
- Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing) +0.235
- Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA) +0.331
- Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) +0.454
- Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) +0.498
Watch the title fight unfold in World Supersport this weekend with the WorldSBK VideoPass!