GEIGER EFFECT: German star ends KTM's 2-year pole wait in WorldSSP300 as Imola classic awaits

Saturday, 15 July 2023 08:31 GMT

Dirk Geiger overhauled Matteo Vannucci during the Superpole session to take pole position in Italy

Germany’s Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) claimed a stunning and hard-fought pole position during the Prometeon Italian Round after usurping weekend pacesetter Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) in the 20-minute Tissot Superpole session. Three different manufacturers will line up on the front row at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Di Imola as Superpole set up an unpredictable two FIM Supersport300 World Championship races in Italy.

A BATTLE FOR POLE: Vannucci denied by Geiger

Vannucci was the fastest rider after the first runs as he set a 2’07.287s before improving by four tenths on his second lap to tighten his grip on pole position, although Germany’s Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) did close the gap to 0.064s after their second flying laps. However, the KTM rider went 0.369s faster with a 2’06.455s with that time good enough to secure his second WorldSSP300 pole position and KTM’s first since Most in 2021. Vannucci will line up alongside Geiger and will hope his strong pace throughout the weekend will translate into home success, while Championship contender Petr Svoboda (Fusport – RT Motorsport by SKM – Kawasaki) took his first front row start with third. Three manufacturers will line up on the front row with KTM leading Yamaha and Kawasaki.

HOW CLOSE DO YOU WANT IT? literally nothing to separate third and fourth…

Rookie Julio Garcia (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) took fourth as he looks to return to the WorldSSP300 rostrum, lapping 0.421s down on Geiger. His best time was the same as Svoboda, a 2’06.876s, but the Czech rider secured a front row start due to his second fastest lap being quicker. Garcia’s teammate, Kevin Sabatucci, will join him on the second row as he lapped a tenth slower than the Spaniard, while Alessandro Zanca (Team#109 Kawasaki) made it three Italians in the top six as he completed the second row.

LESS THAN A SECOND BETWEEN THE TOP 11: a condensed field in WorldSSP300

Humberto Maier (Yamaha MS Racing/AD78 Latin America Team) took seventh place after setting a 2’07.078s, finishing two tenths clear of Championship leader Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) in eighth. Gennai surged up the order in the final stages to take a third-row start, five places below his title rival, as he looks to extend his standings lead on home soil. Samuel Di Sora (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) will complete the third row as he took ninth after the Frenchman posted a 2’07.299s, less than a tenth quicker than Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) as the Dutchman completed the top ten.


Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Fusport – RT Motorsport by SKM – Kawasaki) took 12th despite missing the final five minutes of Superpole. The Spaniard was penalised for taking the chequered flag three times in FP1 and was forced to sit out the final stages of the 20-minute session. The same penalty was given to Enzo Valentim (Yamaha MS Racing/AD78 Latin America Team) after he took the chequered flag twice in FP1 with the Brazilian qualifying 21st.

Home hero Gabriele Mastroluca (Arco Motor University Team) will start from 31st and last after he missed the majority of the session. He had a technical issue on his Yamaha YZF-R3 in the early stages of the session but was able to re-join the session to post a 2’09.465s.

The top six from WorldSSP300 Superpole, full results here:

1. Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM-Paligo Racing) 2’06.455

2. Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) +0.369s

3. Petr Svoboda (Fusport-RT Motorsport by SKM-Kawasaki) +0.421s

4. Julio Garcia (Team Flemmbo - PI Performance) +0.421s

5. Kevin Sabatucci (Team Flemmbo - PI Performance) +0.522s

6. Alessandro Zanca (Team#109 Kawasaki) +0.666s

Racing action at Imola begins at 12:40 Local Time (GMT+2) with WorldSSP300 Race 1 – watch it all with the WorldSBK VideoPass!