The Frenchman had shown strong pace throughout Friday practice and converted that into pole position on Saturday
The grid for the FIM Supersport World Championship was set in a tense, dramatic and rapid Tissot Superpole session at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve with the all-time lap record broken and just 0.046s separating the top three on the grid for the Motul Portuguese Round after Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) claimed his second pole position of the 2021 campaign.
NEW ALL-TIME LAP RECORD FOR CLUZEL…
Frenchman Cluzel claimed his 23rd pole position of his career with a 1’43.908s at Portimao to break the all-time lap record and start both Race 1 and Race 2 from pole position. He had shown great pace throughout the weekend so far. Championship leader Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) will line up from second place after setting a time just 0.018s slower than Cluzel for his seventh front row start of the campaign, ahead of Finnish rider Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) in third, 0.046s off pole position in a closely-contested session.
SO CLOSE YET SO FAR
Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team) had put in a quicker lap time than Cluzel in the closing stages of the session, a 1’43.854s, but due to yellow flags being shown at Turn 1 after a crash for Shogo Kawasaki (G.A.P. MOTOZOO Racing by Puccetti) had his lap time cancelled, meaning the Spanish rider will start from fourth. Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will start from fifth place, his best starting position of his career, after leading the early stages of the 20-minute session while Italian Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) will start from the second row in sixth place.
Championship contender Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) will start from the third row in seventh place with Federico Caricasulo (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) in eighth and Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in ninth. Debutant Yari Montella (GMT94 Yamaha) impressed in Superpole by claiming a top ten starting spot, seven tenths away from teammate Cluzel.
ROUNDING OUT THE TOP 20
Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) continued his impressive return to WorldSSP with 11th place, ahead of German rider Patrick Hobelsberger (Bonovo MGM Action) in 12th; the German rider consistently posting one of the quickest times in the opening sector of the session. Randy Krummenacher (CM Racing) will start from 13th despite technical issues impacting his Superpole session throughout the 20-minute campaign with Kevin Manfredi (Altogo Racing Team) the highest-placed WorldSSP Challenge competitor in 14th; the Italian has the opportunity to win the WorldSSP Challenge in Race 1. Estonian rider Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) will complete the fifth row with 15th place. The top 13 riders in Superpole were separated by less than a second.
Hungary’s Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) was 16th with Marcel Brenner (VFT racing) starting both races from 17th place, ahead of teammate Federico Fuligni. Ondrej Vostatek (IXS-YART Yamaha) will line up from 19th place with David Sanchis Martinez (WRP Wepol Racing) completing the top 20.
Christoffer Bergman (Wojcik Racing Team) will start from 22nd place, behind WorldSSP rookie Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing), despite technical issues towards the end of the session.
The top six following WorldSSP Superpole, full results here:
1. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) 1’43.908s
2. Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.018s
3. Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) +0.046s
4. Manuel Gonzalez (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) +0.125s
5. Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.169s
6. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) +0.198s
Watch WorldSSP Race 1 at 15:15 Local Time (GMT+1) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!