Perolari stays on top, Smith shines in rain-soaked FP2

Friday, 27 September 2019 15:22 GMT

British rider leads a Kawasaki 1-2 as weather conditions take a turn for the worse in WorldSSP

The final WorldSSP session of the day was dominated by the weather with heavy rain ensuring that this morning’s lap times remained unbeaten. Given the risk attached with running in such conditions, FP1 pacesetter Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA) chose to watch the second session from the garage, safe in the knowledge that he would finish the day fastest overall at his and the team’s home round.

FP2 was largely dominated by Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing) who gradually improved his pace throughout the afternoon, despite the conditions showing know sign of significant improvement. The Briton was the only rider to drop underneath the two-minute barrier with Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) 1.191s adrift in second. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) was the man to fly the French flag this afternoon, edging out compatriot Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) while Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) ensured four Kawasaki riders broke into the top five in FP2.

Overall, Perolari’s late dash in FP1 proved to be fastest of the day, with Mahias second overall ahead of Isaac Vinales (Kallio Racing) who restricted his running to just three laps in FP2. Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing) was fourth with Jules Cluzel gearing up for a must-win weekend with the fifth fastest time, proving he will a rider to watch whatever the weather has in store this weekend. Peter Sebestyen (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) rounded out the top six and will have high hopes of consolidating a top ten place in the championship standings.

Jules Danilo followed closely behind his team-mate in seventh ahead of Hikari Okubo who finishes the day in eighth overall, despite his impressive showing in FP2. Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) was a cautious ninth, a position he matched in FP2 as the Italian completed 16 laps, a total only bettered by wildcard Maximilien Bau (GMT94 YAMAHA). Loris Cresson (Kallio Racing) completed the top ten, although he was one of seven riders to spend the whole afternoon under shelter in the garage.

Of the riders that did brave the conditions in FP2, championship leader Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) was seventh, although that wasn’t enough to lift him from 18th in the combined standings. Elsewhere, Jaimie Van Sikkelerus (MPM WILSport Racedays) suffered his second crash of the day while ESS class runner Gaetan Matern fell at Estoril corner, an accident which left the Frenchman with a left humerus fracture, bringing an end to his weekend.

Keep up with all the WorldSSP action from the Pirelli French Round with the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Top six after day one, for full results, click here!

  1. Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA) 1’44.802
  2. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.082
  3. Isaac Vinales (Kallio Racing) +0.385
  4. Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing) +0.633
  5. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) +1.215
  6. Peter Sebestyen (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) +2.198