Caricasulo claims dramatic Imola pole, title rivals Bulega and Manzi on the front row

Saturday, 15 July 2023 08:32 GMT

It was an unpredictable Superpole session in WorldSSP as Federico Caricasulo claimed his 12th pole position; title rivals Nicolo Bulega and Stefano Manzi will start alongside each other

Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) showed rapid pace throughout the Tissot Superpole session to claim a dramatic pole in the FIM Supersport World Championship as he beat compatriot Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) by just over a tenth. A red flag due to track conditions with less than a minute to go brought the session to an early end which disrupted riders in the 20-minute session, with several riders losing lap times due to late yellow flag infringements during the Prometeon Italian Round.

DRAMA UNTIL THE END: yellow flags mix up the front row…

The first runs were completed with Caricasulo leading Bulega by 0.465s. Caricasulo set a stunning 1’50.779s with around 10 minutes left in the session to move ahead of his compatriot with the Championship leader needing to find almost half-a-second to deny the 2019 WorldSSP runner-up a 12th pole position. Bulega put in a lap of 1’50.743s just before the red flags were shown, with 48 seconds remaining, although this time was later deleted due to yellow flags at the final chicane. Caricasulo will start from P1 alongside Bulega in second, while Bulega’s title rival, Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) will start third.


Rookie Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) will lead away the second row as he took fourth, around six tenths down on the pole time. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) bounced back from two crashes in FP2 to take fifth after posting a 1’51.800s on his Panigale V2 while Turkish star Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) will line up from sixth. The Barcelona winner crashed in FP1, but he was still able to show rapid pace throughout the weekend to complete the second row.

IN THE TOP TEN: Huertas’ form continues, Navarro crashes

Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) continued to shine at Imola as he took seventh to finish as the lead Kawasaki rider in Superpole. His time was a 1’51.929s as he missed out on the second row by just a tenth, with Finland’s Niki Tuuli (PTR Triumph) in eighth. Jorge Navarro (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) rounded out the third row despite a crash at Turn 12 in the final moments of the session, while Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) completed the top ten. Navarro was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash and he was subsequently declared fit.

HOUSEKEEPING: action in Superpole

Wildcard Luca Ottaviani (Extreme Racing Service) impressed with 11th, but he had drama at the final chicane in the final few minutes. He crashed his MV Agusta machine which forced Maximilian Kofler (D34G Racing) to take avoiding action with the Austrian riding through the gravel.

The top six following WorldSSP Superpole, full results here:

1. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) 1’50.779s

2. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSP Team) +0.119s

3. Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.468s

4. Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +0.622s

5. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) 1.021s

6. Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +1.029s

WorldSSP Race 1 begins at 15:15 Local Time (GMT+2) – watch all the action using the WorldSBK VideoPass!