With the Championship contenders not at the very front, World Supersport saw a changed complexion at the head of the field
The 2021 FIM Supersport World Championship arrives in Portugal for their final European round of the season at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve and the Motul Portuguese Round. With the title on the line and with the possibility of it being wrapped up this weekend, every session counts. Leading the way after the opening session of the day, Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGO Team) set a new lap record for WorldSSP at Portimao as he got his weekend off to the best possible start.
As the session got underway, a Red Flag was shown for track conditions after Randy Krummenacher (CM Racing) had a mechanical problem with his Yamaha YZF-R6. After a short delay, action resumed, and it was Yamaha domination at the front. Manuel Gonzalez went top with just over a minute to go; the Spaniard set a new lap record to push Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) back into second; Cluzel was right back to his best and was second in the session, with the French veteran in good form. Third place went to Federico Caricasulo (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing), as Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. Yamaha WorldSSP Team), is eager to keep his title hopes alive this weekend and made it a Yamaha 1-2-3-4. Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) took fifth despite a late moment at Turn 5.
Sixth place belonged to Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), with the German completing the top half-dozen, whilst there was another Kawasaki that came up the order in the closing stages with Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura). De Rosa was seventh at the flag, bumping Championship leader Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) back to eighth place, as he goes in pursuit of wrapping up the title this weekend. World Supersport debutant and 2020 CEV Moto2™ European Champion Yari Montella (GMT94 Yamaha) took ninth, ahead of Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) who completed the top ten. Randy Krummenacher eventually got back out on track but suffered the same technical issue, finishing 11th overall. Off the back of two podiums, Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) was 20th after a technical issue in the session.
Top six after FP1 in WorldSSP, full results here:
1. Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team) 1’44.188s
2. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) +0.170s
3. Federico Caricasulo (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) +0.341s
4. Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) +0.430s
5. Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.766s
6. Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.768s
Watch WorldSSP FP2 at 16:00 local time (GMT+1) with the WorldSBK VideoPass!