Bulega pips Caricasulo for maiden WorldSSP pole position as he smashes lap record at Mandalika

Saturday, 4 March 2023 02:30 GMT

The Ducati rider led an Italian 1-2 ahead of Caricasulo with the pair split by just 0.003s at the end of the 20-minute session

The Tissot Superpole session was a record-breaking affair in the FIM Supersport World Championship at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit as Nicolo Bulega ( WorldSSP Racing Team) claimed his first WorldSSP pole position with a new all-time lap record during the Motul Indonesian Round. Despite setting a new lap record, Bulega was run close in the Superpole session as he claimed pole by only 0.00s.

LESS THAN A TENTH IN IT: nothing to separate the top three

Bulega posted a 1’35.520s to claim his first pole position in WorldSSP as he became the 56th different polesitter in the Championship and the 13th Italian rider to do this. His time, which was a new all-time lap record at Mandalika, was only 0.003s ahead of Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) in second place while Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was third and less than a tenth behind Bulega. It means Ducati took their 11th pole position in WorldSSP, putting them one shy of Suzuki, while Caricasulo has his 33rd front row position from Superpole.

FOUR MANUFACTURERS IN THE TOP FIVE: plenty of action to come

2022 Mandalika polesitter Niki Tuuli (Dynavolt Triumph) will line up from fourth spot with the Finnish rider the first rider to go faster than the Superpole lap record. Tuuli’s best time was 1’35.915s to take a second row start, ahead of Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) in fifth place while Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) rounded out the second row with sixth place. De Rosa’s best time was 0.511s slower than Bulega’s pole time.

TOP TEN SEPARATED BY A SECOND: all Yamaha third row…

Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) took top Yamaha honours with seventh spot, with no Yamaha riders on the first two rows of the grid for the first time since Lusial in 2016. Nicholas Spinelli (VFT Racing Yamaha) was eighth after his session was disrupted by a Turn 17 crash five minutes into the session. He was able to take his bike back to the pits for it to be checked over and returned to the track in the final ten minutes of the session. Spanish rookie Jorge Navarro (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) took ninth ahead of teammate Stefano Manzi who rounded out the top ten. Manzi’s time was a 1’36.421s, less than one second down on Bulega with the top ten separated by less than a second.

HOUSEKEEPING: to note from Superpole

It was a strong session for John McPhee (Vince64 by Puccetti Racing) ass the British rider claimed 11th spot with a 1’36.952s. Valentin Debise (GMT94 Yamaha) was 12th, less than a tenth behind McPhee, while Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) bounced back from his FP2 crash for 13th. Andrea Mantovani (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) and Oli Bayliss (D34G Racing) rounded out the top 15.

The top six following WorldSSP Superpole, full results here:

1. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team)

2. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) +0.003s

3. Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.092s

4. Niki Tuuli (Dynavolt Triumph) +0.395s

5. Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +0.407s

6. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) +0.511s

Watch WorldSSP Race 1 from 12:00 Local Time (GMT+8) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!