LAST-MINUTE POLE: Vannucci leaves it late to deny Geiger pole position at Aragon

Saturday, 23 September 2023 08:31 GMT

The Italian’s final lap of the session was enough to give him pole position in a topsy-turvy Tissot Superpole

Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) left it late to claim pole position for the Tissot Aragon Round as he topped the times by just over three tenths ahead of his rivals. The Italian posted a 2’06.119s with his final lap of Tissot Superpole to deny his title rivals pole position in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship with a mixed-up grid setting up a thrilling weekend of action at MotorLand Aragon.


At the halfway mark of the session, 2020 Champion Buis stormed to the top of the timesheets with a 2’06.618s as he went four tenths quicker than his rivals before Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) responded to go 0.094s quicker. As riders searched for optimal track position, lap times did not improve until the final laps of the 20-minute session with Geiger finding just under a tenth to extend his lead to 0.177s over Buis. It had looked like it was going to be Geiger vs Buis for pole but Vannucci’s last-gasp lap of 2’06.119s moved him to the top of the timesheets for his third pole in WorldSSP300. Geiger will start from second after taking his fifth front row in the Championship, while it was Buis’ third front row start. All three remain in title contention and have the best possible starting position for both Race 1 and Race 2.

LAST-LAP IMPROVEMENTS: Perez Gonzalez hauls himself into contention

Kevin Sabatucci (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) will line up from fourth ahead of Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) in fifth. Perez Gonzalez, second in the Championship heading into Aragon and five points behind Buis, had been outside the top ten during the session but a last-minute effort moved him into the top five. Julio Garcia will join teammate Sabatucci on the second row with sixth, lapping around nine tenths off Vannucci’s pole-taking time.

INSIDE THE TOP TEN: can they take a podium?

Devis Bergamini (ProGP Racing) took seventh as he enjoyed one of his strongest Superpole sessions of the 2023 campaign, ahead of Jose Manuel Osuna Saez (Deza-Box 77 Racing Team) in eighth place. Osuna Saez, and Unai Calatayud (Arco Motor University Team) directly behind in ninth, were both riders who briefly led the times before being demoted down the order. Fenton Seabright (Kawasaki GP Project) completed the top ten.

HOUSEKEEPING: penalties, crashes and no times set…

Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) had been enjoying a strong session but a Turn 1 incident with Enzo Valentim (Yamaha MS Racing/AD78 Latin America Team) ended both of their sessions early. Valentim was taken to the medical centre for a check-up. Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) took 17th in Superpole but the German will serve a five-place grid penalty in Race 1 for slow riding in Free Practice 2. Marc Garcia (China Racing Team) did not set a lap time in the 20-minute session.

The top six from WorldSSP300 Superpole, full results here:

1 Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) 2’06.119s

2. Dirk Geiger (KTM Freudenberg – Paligo Racing) +0.322s

3. Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) +0.469s

4. Kevin Sabatucci (Team Flembbo-PI Performances) +0.782s

5. Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) +0.804s

6. Julio Garcia (Team Flembbo-PI Performances) +0.906s

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