WorldSSP300 proved to be as competitive as ever after Friday’s two practice session
The FIM Supersport 300 World Championship returned to action at the Circuito Estoril for the Estoril Round with 2017 Champion Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS racing) topping the timesheets after Friday’s two Free Practice sessions by just over a tenth of a second, while 21 riders were within one second of Garcia’s pace in the combined standings; proving how competitive this round of WorldSSP300 action will be in Portugal.
A CHAMPION ON TOP: Garcia leads the way on Friday
2017 Champion Garcia posted a best time of 1’41.428s, coming in the morning FP1 session, to top the times in the combined standings after two 30-minute Free Practice sessions. He was just 0.146s clear of Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) in second place after Sabatucci improved his time in FP2, topping the second FP3 session. He was a tenth clear of German rider Dirk Geiger (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) in third place after the German posted a time of 1’51.695s.
NOTHING TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THE CHASING PACK: a close field
Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) was fourth in the combined classification but missed out on a top three spot by just 0.042s after posting a 1’51.737s, finishing ahead of Iker Garcia Abella (Yamaha MS Racing) who was just 0.025s away from Steeman. French rider Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) completed the top six with a 1’51.780s; only 0.018s away from Garcia Abella.
21 RIDERS WITHIN A SECOND OF GARCIA: small time gains lead to huge jumps in position
WorldSSP300 continues to be incredibly competitive and unpredictable with 21 riders within one second of Garcia’s pace. Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing) was seventh after posting a 1’51.832s ahead of Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) in ninth and Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) who rounded out the top ten.
Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) claimed 11th spot but missed out on a place in the top ten by just 0.075s, finishing ahead of wildcard entrant Dinis Borges (Rame Moto Racing) in 12th place after a solid start to his home round. Japanese rider Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki), Harry Khouri (Team#109 Kawasaki) and Alex Millan (SMW Racing) rounded out the top 15.
Petr Svoboda (Accolade Smrz Racing), continuing as a substitute rider at the Czech team, was 16th place with Fenton Seabright (Vinales Racing Team), Daniel Mogeda (Tram#109 Kawasaki), Humberto Maier (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing), Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) and Ruben Bijman (MTM Kawasaki) completing the list of riders within one second of Garcia.
HOUSEKEEPING: to note from WorldSSP300
Tomas Alonso (Quaresma Racing Team) had a dramatic start to his WorldSSP300 wildcard weekend after a Turn 9 crash, although he was able to return to the track and finishing in 30th place. Ionnais Peristeras (ProGP Racing) was in 28th after he had a FP2 crash at Turn 1.
The top six following WorldSSP300 on Friday, full results here:
1. Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) 1’51.428
2. Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) +0.146s
3. Dirk Geiger (Fusport-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) +0.287s
4. Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) +0.309s
5. Iker Garcia Abella (Yamaha MS Racing) +0.334s
6. Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) +0.352s
Watch WorldSSP300 Tissot Superpole on Saturday at 09:45 Local Time (GMT+1) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!