Just 0.009s separated the pair after a dramatic Friday in Argentina, with FP2 red flagged halfway through the session
Friday for the FIM Supersport World Championship was a dramatic affair with just 0.009s separating the top two after two free practice sessions at the Circuito San Juan Villicum for the Motul Argentinean Round. Reigning Champion Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) topped the times ahead of Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) by just 0.009s in a red flagged Free Practice 2 session.
IT’S TIGHT AT THE TOP: three riders separated by less than a tenth
Aegerter posted a 1’42.271s right at the end of the 45-minute Free Practice 2 session as he topped both the session and combined classification ahead of Italian rider Caricasulo after he posted a 1’42.280s; just 0.009s separating the pair after two Friday practice sessions. In terms of times being improved between FP1 and FP2, around half the riders were able to find time but Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) in third was the highest-placed rider not to improve his time. He posted a 1’43.363s in FP1 to top that session but he was third in the combined classification and only 0.092s behind Aegerter.
NOT FAR AWAY: can they break into the top three?
Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished in fourth place in the combined classification, less than two tenths behind Aegerter but, like Cluzel, did not improve his time from FP1. In that session, Oncu had spent a lot of time at the top of the timesheets before eventually finishing second. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP) took fifth place and he was also within two tenths of Aegerter’s time. Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph) took sixth place with a 1’42.592s.
ROUNDING OUT THE TOP TEN: six tenths separating the top ten
Finnish rider Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) took seventh place, ensuring all five manufacturers were represented in the top seven, despite a crash at Turn 10 in FP2 which ended his session. French rider Andy Verdoia (GMT94 Yamaha) was eighth place with Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in ninth. Bulega’s FP2 session was disrupted by a technical issue on his out lap at the start of the session, but he was able to join the session later on. Hungarian rider Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) rounded out the top ten.
HOPING TO MOVE UP: inside the top 15
Title contender Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) was 11th place ahead of Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) in 12th. Debutant Bradley Smith (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) took 13th in the combined classification for his first WorldSSP day of action, with Smith the final rider within one second of teammate Aegerter’s time. Oli Bayliss (BARNI Spark Racing Team) was 14th with Hannes Soomer (Dynavolt Triumph) rounding out the top 15.
HOUSEKEEPING: to note from Friday
Free Practice 2 was red flagged with around 18 minutes left on the clock following a crash for replacement rider Baris Sahin (MS Racing Yamaha WorldSSP). The Swiss rider had a huge highside coming out of Turn 13 and, with his bike in the middle of the track and Sahin receiving attention from marshals, the session was red flagged. Sahin was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash.
The top six following WorldSSP Friday action, full results here:
1. Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) 1’42.271s
2. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) +0.009s
3. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) +0.092s
4. Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.186s
5. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP) +0.190s
6. Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph) +0.321s
Don’t miss more incredible WorldSSP action from Argentina on Saturday using the WorldSBK VideoPass!