A slick tyre gamble for Bulega at the end of the session moved him into second place behind Caricasulo, with the top two decided on second fastest lap times
The final Tissot Superpole session of the FIM Supersport World Championship was a dramatic affair and decided by the second fastest lap times between Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) and Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. A slick tyre gamble for Bulega almost paid off at the end of the session as he took second place after he set the same lap time as polesitter Caricasulo for the Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round.
A REMARKABLE SESSION: tied at the top
Both Caricasulo and Bulega set a 1’37.161s to take the first two places on the grid, with Caricasulo on pole due to this second fastest time being quicker. There were mixed tyre strategies on the front row with Bulega taking a slick tyre gamble at the end of the session as he moved up the order to take his sixth front row start of the season, but his best Superpole result since Donington Park. For Caricasulo, he took his second pole of the season and 11th overall in WorldSSP. They will be joined on the front row by Yari Montella (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) with the rookie taking his first front start; Montella, like Caricasulo, did not take a risk on slick tyres.
LATE CHARGES AND GAMBLES NOT PAYING OFF: a mixed run on row two
Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was fourth after he ran a different strategy in the 20-minute Superpole session. Aegerter opted to wait before leaving the pits at the start of the session but returning after just one lap. He then returned on a wet rear tyre and lapped on that until the end of the session, eventually taking fourth place; during his stint, he posted times that were more than four seconds faster than his rivals. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) made it four Italians in the top five, while Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) rounded out the top six; Schroetter also took a gamble on slick tyres at the end of the session.
ROUNDING OUT THE TOP TEN: in the podium hunt?
Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will start both Race 1 and Race 2 from seventh place after he lapped Phillip Island in 1’38.018s, just under a second down on Caricasulo and Bulega’s time. Italian rider Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP) will start from eighth after he lost his best lap time after it was set under yellow flags after initially taking fourth place, while Danish rider Simon Jespersen (Kallio Racing) was ninth. Mandalika Race 1 winner Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) will start from tenth.
HOUSEKEEPING: to note from WorldSSP Superpole
As well as De Rosa, two more riders lost their lap times as they were set under yellow flags which were brought out after Aegerter ran off the circuit at Turn 6. Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) dropped out of the top eight and will start 15th, while Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) will start from 17th; his deleted time was not his fastest. Van Straalen’s deleted time was a 1’38.207s, while his fastest time in the classification was a 1’39.166s.
The top six from WorldSSP Superpole, full results here:
1. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) 1’34.027s
2. Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) +0.000s
3. Yari Montella (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.153s
4. Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing WorldSSP) +0.220s
5. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) +0.485s
6. Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +0.597s
Don’t miss Race 1 from Phillip Island at 14:30 Local Time (GMT+11) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!