Championship leader Nicolo Bulega continued his strong 2023 by taking top spot on home soil while both wildcards claimed top-ten finishes on Friday
Friday in the FIM Supersport World Championship at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” for the 2023 Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round with Championship leader Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) taking top spot by more than half-a-second ahead of his nearest rivals. Despite Bulega’s impressive pace, headlines were taken by wildcard rider Simone Corsi (Altogo Racing Team) who took second place in the combined classification.
BULEGA LEADS THE ITALIAN CHARGE: six in the top ten…
Bulega put in a series of fast laps towards the end of the 45-minute session and posted a best lap of 1’37.627s to claim top spot as he led an Italian quartet at the head of the WorldSSP field. He had a 0.707s gap to wildcard Corsi in second place who, after taking fourth in FP1, was able to improve his lap time further to claimed second in the standings. Only Bulega and Corsi lapped Misano on Friday in the 1’37s bracket while Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) claimed fourth place despite an early crash in FP2 at Turn 5; he re-joined the session later on to take third place.
SURPRISES IN STORE: riders impress on Friday
Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) was the only rider in the top ten, and one of only five in total, who did not improve their time in FP2. Despite setting a 1’38.485s in FP2, he took fourth in the combined classification with his time of 1’38.229s from FP1; in that session, he was able to top the times. Fifth place belonged to the most recent WorldSSP race winner, Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), as he continues his impressive run of form while Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) rounded out the top six.
IT’S CLOSE IN THE CHASING PACK: four tenths between fourth and tenth
Dutch rider Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) was seventh after setting a best lap time of 1’38.536s to finish inside the top ten. Marcel Schoretter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), currently second in the Championship standings, was in eighth place at the end of Friday’s running ahead of Ten Kate Racing Yamaha duo Jorge Navarro and Stefano Manzi. Both riders crashed during FP1 at different points and Manzi’s running was limited in FP2 with the Italian not setting a lap time. Despite this, his 1’38.701s was enough to round out the top ten as he finished a tenth behind his teammate.
ROUNDING OUT THE TOP 15: hoping to gain on Saturday
Niki Tuuli (Dynavolt Triumph) went down at Turn 5 in the opening moments of the 45-minute FP2 session but he was able to re-join the session and he finished in 11th place, ahead of wildcard Marco Bussolotti (Axon Seven Team) in 12th. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), who is continuing to substitute for the injured Can Oncu, took 13th ahead of Oli Bayliss (D34G Racing) and Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) who rounded out the top 15.
HOUSEKEEPING: to note from WorldSSP on Friday
There were several crashes in FP2 with Australian rider Tom Edwards (Yart – Yamaha WorldSSP Team) crashing at Turn 8. The red flags were deployed when rookie Ratthapong Wilairot (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) crashed at Turn 14 on his WorldSSP debut. Alvaro Diaz (Arco Yart Yamaha WorldSSP) was one of a few riders who did not improve his time in FP2 compared to FP1 and he also crashed at Turn 4 with around 13 minutes left in the session.
The top six following WorldSSP Friday action, full results here:
1 Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) 1’37.267s
2. Simone Corsi (Altogo Racing Team) +0.707s
3. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) +0.872s
4. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) +0.962s
5. Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +1.100s
6. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) +1.183s
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