Huertas surprises at Imola to deny home-hero Caricasulo in WorldSSP FP1

Friday, 14 July 2023 10:13 GMT

There was a change of complexion at the top of the order in World Supersport, but will it last for the remainder of the weekend?

FIM Supersport World Championship action has fired up at Imola for the seventh round of the 2023 season, with a jumbled-up order making for intriguing reading right from the start. Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) hadn’t led a session since a wet FP1 at Magny-Cours last year but that soon changed as he charged to the top late on to take FP1 honours on his first visit to the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola.

Making it a fine start to his first weekend at Imola in WorldSSP, Spanish star Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) came off the back of his best result in the class from Donington Park with fourth to lead the charge at Round 7. He was just 0.055s ahead of Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team), with the Italian leading a big chunk of fellow countrymen. Both he and Huertas were in a league of their own, with Yari Montella more than six tenths away from the top time, but nonetheless completing his first Imola WorldSSP experience in third. Championship leader Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) was fourth on his Imola WorldSSP debut, one place ahead of Championship rival Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha), who is in the same boat.

Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was sixth and the fifth Italian inside the top half-dozen, albeit 1.054s adrift of the top time. In seventh place, Jorge Navarro (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha), enjoying a better time of things in Italy than he did two weeks ago in the United Kingdom. Luca Ottaviani (Extreme Racing Service) was eighth and the best wildcard, ahead of Frenchman Valentin Debise (GMT94 Yamaha) and Niki Tuuli (PTR Triumph).

In P11, Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) suffered a late crash at the final chicane but remounted and was OK; he was just ahead of wildcard Emanuele Pusceddu (J.Angel by Edafos) aboard his Yamaha. There was early drama for Tom Edwards (Yart-Yamaha WorldSSP Team) who crashed at Turn 4 but was OK, whilst Tarran Mackenzie (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team) suffered a mechanical issue on the approach to Variante Alta. Completing the order, Oli Bayliss (D34G Racing) was 7.531s off of the top time and later declared unfit after injuries sustained last time out at Donington Park. Apiwath Wongthananon (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) was also declared unfit after FP1 due to previous injuries.

Top six after WorldSSP FP1 at Imola, full results here:

1. Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) 1’52.010s

2. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) +0.055s

3. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) +0.631s

4. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) +0.640s

5. Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.844s

6. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) +1.054s

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