A five- or six-rider title fight? Bulega outlines his thoughts on ‘interesting’ WorldSSP in 2023

Friday, 3 February 2023 09:14 GMT

Italian rider Nicolo Bulega named six riders he thinks will be fighting for the World Championship title in 2023

With testing in the FIM Supersport World Championship almost completed, and only the Official Test to go before Australia, Nicolo Bulega (Aruba Racing WorldSSP Team) discussed the 2023 title fight in WorldSSP. Speaking after two days of testing concluded at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, Bulega believes there will be “five or six” riders fighting for the Championship this year as he looks to put Ducati back on the top step of the podium.

With last year’s top two moving into WorldSBK, and a whole host of moves across the grid, there are plenty of unknowns heading into 2023 despite the testing at both Portimao and the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto. Bulega took part in both days on his Panigale V2 machine and was able to check out lots of the opposition during his four days on track as he looks for glory in 2023. Talking after the test, Bulega named himself, Ten Kate Racing Yamaha duo Stefano Manzi and Jorge Navarro, Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing), Raffaele De Rose (Orelac Racing MOVISIO) and Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) as potential title winners.

Previewing 2023, Bulega said: “I don’t think I am the favourite, but I think I am the one who can be fast. I think there are five or six who can fight for the Championship so I think, for sure, it will be an interesting season. I think Manzi, Navarro, Caricasulo, De Rosa, Oncu and me. Not so bad, I think!”

Bulega was the fastest rider during the Portimao test as he lapped under the existing lap record. Bulega’s best lap time during the test was 1’42.636s and he was the only rider in the 1’42s bracket, lapping almost half-a-second quicker than fellow Ducati rider Caricasulo. The preview lap record was set by two-time Champion Dominique Aegerter, now in WorldSBK, in 2022 in Tissot Superpole when he set a 1’43.065s; Caricasulo was a tenth outside this record.

Discussing his test, Bulega added: “It was a very good test because we tried some things around settings and something new. I really liked it. I think we found a very good setup so I’m really happy about this. Also, the time attack was good, so I’m happy and we go to Australia with a great opportunity to be fast.”

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