Bulega claims WorldSSP pole position in Barcelona in red-flagged Superpole

Saturday, 6 May 2023 09:06 GMT

The Championship leader continued his strong form with his third consecutive pole position in 2023

The drama in the FIM Supersport World Championship continued at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with a disrupted Tissot Superpole session for the Prosecco DOC Catalunya Round. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) claimed his third consecutive pole position this season by finishing nearly three tenths clear of his rivals in the red-flagged 20-minute session, while several riders impressed throughout Superpole.

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The session was red flagged with just under five minutes to go when Harry Truelove (Dynavolt Triumph) crashed at the exit of Turn 3 with the bike remaining on the kerbs heading into Turn 4 on the racing line. Truelove was able to walk away but the red flags were necessary in order to recover his machine. Bulega was quick out of the blocks in the 20-minute session was he set a 1’44.243s to go, provisionally, a second quicker than everyone else although his rivals did close the gap as their lap times rolled in. The red flag prevented Bulega from improving his time further and he did not improve after the red flag to take pole position. His rivals, however, were able to close the gap behind him with Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) lapping almost three tenths slower than Bulega. They will be joined by Frederico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) in third place for his 35th front row start.

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Tom Edwards (Yart-Yamaha WorldSSP Team) surged up the order to take his best-ever WorldSSP Superpole result with fourth place after setting a 1’44.777 as he finished as the lead WorldSSP Challenge rider on the grid. Dutch rider Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) will line up from fifth place ahead of Jorge Navarro (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) in sixth with Navarro finishing as the lead Ten Kate Racing Yamaha rider.

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Valentin Debise (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) had another strong result as he took seventh place in Spain, 0.632s own on Bulega’s time, while Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was eighth as he starts from the third row. Debise and Manzi will be joined by Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) who took ninth place. The Turkish star was running in second place prior to the red flag but dropped down to ninth place after he was unable to improve on his 1’44.899s when the session resumed. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) rounded out the top ten as he set a 1’45.013s to lap 0.770 slower than Bulega.

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It was a dramatic affair with several riders having issues or crashes during the 20-minute session. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was 18th after he had a crash at Turn 5 with 12 minutes left in the session. He re-joined the circuit following the crash but was unable to secure a top-ten starting position. Maximilian Kofler (D34G Racing) was 22nd in Superpole after he crashed at Turn 2 in the latter stages of the session. Wildcard Baris Sahin (MDR Offitec Yamaha) had a technical issue which limited his running and he will line up 32nd.

The top six following WorldSSP Superpole, full results here:

1. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team)

2. Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +0.274s

3. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) +0.441s

4. Tom Edwards (Yart-Yamaha WorldSSP Team) +0.534s

5. Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) +0.617s

6. Jorge Navarro (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.618s

Watch WorldSSP Race 1 from 15:15 Local Time (GMT+2) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!