ADVANTAGE PEREZ GONZALEZ? Spaniard romps to top spot on Friday, Buis P6 at Portimao

Friday, 29 September 2023 14:08 GMT

Title contender Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez was fastest on Friday with his main rival only managing sixth in the combined classification

Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) struck first in the FIM Supersport World Championship title decider at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. The Spaniard was just over a tenth clear of the rest of the field as he looks to overturn a 30-point deficit in the Championship standings. In the title battle, Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) was sixth while Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) was 18th on Friday at the Pirelli Portuguese Round.

PEREZ GONZALEZ LEADS THE WAY: #73 pips rookie Veneman

The majority of the field improved their time in the afternoon FP2 session with Perez Gonzalez leaving it until his final lap to claim first place. He set a 1’55.152s to finish fastest on Friday by just over a tenth as he laid down a marker for his title rivals. Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) claimed second after lapping 0.126s slower than the #73, despite a FP1 crash at Turn 15, while Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) hauled himself up the order to take third place, just under two tenths back from Perez Gonzalez.

BUIS IN SIXTH: can he find time on Saturday?

Julio Garcia (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) continued his impressive Portuguese form with fourth, directly ahead of teammate Kevin Sabatucci. The Italian was fastest in Free Practice 1 and for the majority of FP2 looked like he wouldn’t find time. However, he improved to a 1’55.706s with his final lap to take fifth overall. 2020 Champion Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) was sixth as he looks to wrap up his second Riders’ Championship this weekend, although he has a six tenths gap to Perez Gonzalez at the top of the field.

COMPLETING THE TOP TEN: Bergamini’s excellent Friday

Indonesia’s Galang Hendra Pratama (Sublime Racing by MS Racing) was a long-time leader during FP2 but was overhauled as the session progressed before finishing seventh. Devis Bergamini (ProGP Racing) enjoyed a very strong afternoon as he took eighth overall with Fenton Seabright (Kawasaki GP Project) in ninth and Alessandro Zanca (Team#109 Kawasaki) completing the top ten.

HOUSEKEEPING: notable points from Friday

Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) was the highest-placed rider who didn’t find time in FP2. He took eighth in FP1 with a 1’56.559s and he didn’t improve on this, taking 15th place. Championship contender Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) was 18th as he looks to make gains, although he needs to overhaul a 47-point deficit to Buis with 50 available. Unai Calatayud (Arco Motor University Team) was 20th after a Turn 14 crash in the early stages of FP2 while American Christopher Clark (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) was 31st after a Turn 3 crash in the same session.

The top six from Friday’s WorldSSP300 running, full results here:

1 Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) 1’55.152s

2. Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) +0.126s

3. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) +0.271s

4. Julio Garcia (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) +0.473s

5. Kevin Sabatucci (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) +0.554s

6. Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) +0.557s

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