Okaya smashes pole lap record at Estoril to claim stunning WorldSSP300 pole position

Saturday, 21 May 2022 09:29 GMT

The Japanese rider put in a stunning late lap to claim his second pole position in WorldSSP300

A long wait of 651 days is over for Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki) as he claimed his second FIM Supersport 300 World Championship pole position after the Tissot Superpole session at the Circuito Estoril for the Estoril Round. With his last pole position coming at Portimao in 2020, Okaya smashed the lap pole lap record to claim his first pole of 2022 and his second in WorldSSP300.

A NEW LAP RECORD: Okaya half-a-second clear

Okaya posted a lap time of 1’50.476s to go under the existing pole lap record by around three tenths of a second, smashing the previous pole record, a 1’50.798s posted by Ukrainian rider Nick Kalinin and also lapping under the all-time lap record set by Koen Meuffels by around 0.020s. He will be joined on the front row by 2017 Champion Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) who claimed second in the Superpole session, his eighth front row start in WorldSSP300 and putting him level with Scott Deroue. Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) claimed third place as he made it back-to-back front row starts after the Dutch Round.


After topping Free Practice 2 on Friday, Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) backed up his pace with fourth in Superpole, around half-a-tenth clear of fifth-placed Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing); the Spanish rider not qualifying on the front row for the first time in three rounds. Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) rounded out the second row after posting a best time of 1’51.334s to secure a second row start.

HOPING FOR PROGRESS: securing a top ten start

Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) claimed seventh spot in Superpole after posting a 1’51.436s, ahead of Alessandro Zanca (Kawasaki GP Project) and Championship leader Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team); Diaz posting a late lap to move up the order and claim a third row start. Alex Millan (SMW Racing), returning from injury, rounded out the top ten.

HOUSEKEEPING: to note from WorldSSP300

Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) qualified in 13th place after only taking part in the first 10 minutes of the session. He was sanctioned for irresponsible riding that did not allow him to compete in the final 10 minutes of the 20-minute session, although he did also crash at Turn 6 in the session. Wildcard Dinis Borges (Rame Moto Racing) will start from 16th after a strong session for the home hero. Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) will start from 23rd place as he looks to repeat his comebacks that he pulled off at both Aragon and Assen.

The top six following WorldSSP300 Tissot Superpole session, full results here:

1. Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki) 1’50.476

2. Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) +0.518s

3. Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) +0.633s

4. Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) +0.728s

5. Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing) +0.783s

6. Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) +0.858s

Watch WorldSSP300 Race 1 from 12:40 Local Time (GMT+1) live and uninterrupted using the WorldSBK VideoPass!