The 2020 Champion started his quest for WorldSSP300 history by topping the opening session of the 2023 season on home soil
The 2023 season for the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship kicked off at the TT Circuit Assen with the Pirelli Dutch Round and it was a Dutch rider who led the way in Free Practice 1. 2020 Champion Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) posted the fast time of the 30-minute session to start his return to the Championship in the perfect fashion as he went more than three tenths quicker than his rivals.
Buis was one of the last riders to hit the track in FP1 but this did not prevent him from posting the fastest time of the session with a 1’50.070s. Buis completed the fewest laps of any rider who did not crash with just six to his name but was still able to finish 0.114s ahead of French rider Samuel Di Sora (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) in second place, who moved up the order in the closing stages of the session. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) had been second before being bumped down into third place by Di Sora, finishing two tenths behind the Frenchman.
Alessandro Zanca (Team#109 Kawasaki) was another late mover at the end of Free Practice 1 as he jumped into fourth place, just under four tenths back from Buis, while Czech rider Petr Svoboda (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) took fifth place. Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) was the lead KTM rider in FP1 with sixth place with teammate Lennox Lehmann directly behind in seventh place and the pair separated less than a tenth.
Two teammates were also adjacent in the classification in eighth and ninth place as well, with Fenton Seabright (Kawasaki GP Project) in eighth place after setting a 1’50.722s ahead of teammate Daniel Mogeda who was just over a tenth slower. Humberto Maier (Yamaha MS Racing/AD78 Latin America Team) rounded out the top ten with a 1’50.966s, the last rider within a second of Buis at the top of the timesheets.
There was a crash for Kas Beekmans (Sublime Racing by Ms Racing) around 10 minutes into the 30-minute Free Practice 1 session with the Dutch rider crashing at Turn 5. Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) had been enjoying a strong debut session but a crash at Turn 11 around halfway through the session ended his FP1 early. Dutch rider Ruben Bijman (Arco Motor University Team) was another crasher when the Dutchman came down at Turn 9.
The top six following WorldSSP300 FP1, full results here:
1. Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) 1’50.070s
2. Samuel Di Sora (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) +0.114s
3. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) +0.314s
4. Alessandro Zanca (Team#109 Kawasaki) +0.368s
5. Petr Svoboda (Fusport-RT Motorsport by SKM-Kawasaki) +0.489s
6. Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) +0.546s
Watch more WorldSSP300 action from Assen using the WorldSBK VideoPass!