Manzi resists Bulega after last-lap overtake to claim Ten Kate Racing’s 100th WorldSSP win

Sunday, 4 June 2023 11:37 GMT

The race was decided on the final lap after a stunning, unconventional overtaking move to give Manzi his first win of the 2023 campaign

Race 2 in the FIM Supersport World Championship was a dramatic affair after a last lap pass by Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) who claimed his first win of the 2023 season at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” during the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round to secure Ten Kate Racing’s 100th WorldSSP victory. It was a race-long battle with between Manzi and Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) which was decided on the final lap to deny Bulega a double home victory.

LAST-LAP FIGHT: Manzi beats Bulega

Bulega lost out at the start again as he fell behind Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) and Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) but he quickly moved his way back up to the front. Unlike in Race 1, Bulega was unable to pull out a gap to the chasing pack as Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) joined the front group as he battled for his first victory of the 2023 season. Manzi initially took the lead on Lap 11 at Turn 2, but Bulega responded a lap later to re-claim the lead as he was denied a sensational home double.

However, Manzi was able to stay close to Bulega throughout the final few laps. On Lap 17, Manzi briefly moved ahead when Bulega ran wide at Turn 10 although the Championship leader was able to quickly take the lead back heading into Turn 11. It was a short-lived lead for the Ducati rider, though, as Manzi surprised Bulega with a move at Turn 3 on the final lap to move into the lead. Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was just behind the pair, finishing 1.5s back from Bulega, to claim third place. It gave Manzi his second win in WorldSSP and his 11th podium in the Championship, while he also claimed Italy’s 50th win in the Championship. 

FIGHTING BACK: overcoming a Long Lap Penalty

Caricasulo had a dramatic race as he got ahead of Bulega at the start but, as he was fighting for the podium places, ran wide at Turn 10 which dropped him down the order. He was also then given a Long Lap Penalty for irresponsible riding but he was able to fight his way back to fourth place, four seconds down on  Schroetter, but almost three clear of Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) in fifth, with the Spaniard taking his best result of the season and in WorldSSP. Wildcard Simone Corsi (Altogo Racing Team) concluded his home round with sixth place as he enjoyed a strong weekend on home soil.

SECURING A TOP TEN: Sofuoglu bounces back from Race 1 crash

Barcelona Race 2 winner Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) continued his fine form with seventh place, although he did lose places in the final stages of the lap after running as high as fourth at one point. He was almost side-by-side with Nicholas Spinelli (VFT Racing WEBIKE Yamaha) across the line with just 0.071s separating the pair. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) took ninth place as he continues to substitute for the injured Can Oncu, while Niki Tuuli (Dynavolt Triumph) rounded out the top ten.

SCORING POINTS: Booth-Amos increases WorldSSP Challenge lead

Oli Bayliss (D34G Racing) was 11th for his team’s home round, finishing two seconds down on Tuuli, while Tom Booth-Amos (Motozoo ME AIR Racing) finished in 12th place. He was the highest-placed WorldSSP Challenge rider in the field, finishing directly ahead of his competitor, Tom Edwards (Yart-Yamaha WorldSSP Team) in 13th place. Two Italian riders rounded out the points-paying positions with wildcard Marco Bussolotti (Axon Seven Team) and Andrea Mantovani (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) in 14th and 15th respectively; Mantovani was ordered to drop two positions during Race 2.

HOUSEKEEPING: to note from Race 2

Jorge Navarro (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) had been on course for his best result of the season but a crash at Turn 14 on Lap 5 dropped him down the order, with the rookie finishing in 18th place. Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) was 22nd after he had a crash on Lap 5 at Turn 5. Ratthapong Wilairot (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) had to serve a Long Lap Penalty during Race 2 for irresponsible riding.

Lap 1 featured two crashes at different points of the circuit. At Turn 4, Maximilian Kofler (D34G Racing), Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) and Yuta Okaya (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) crashed. Okaya and De Rosa were able to continue although both brought their bikes into the pits later to finish 26th and 27th respectively, while Kofler retired. The Austrian was taken to the medical centre for a check-up. On the same lap, but at Turn 16, Harry Truelove (Dynavolt Triumph) crashed and retired from the race. Tarran Mackenzie (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team) retired from the race after a few laps, as did teammate Adam Norrodin with a technical problem. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) was brought his bike into the pits and re-joined, before retiring when he returned to the pits a few laps later.

The top six from WorldSSP Race 2, full results here:

1. Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha)
2. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) +0.208s
3. Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +1.566s
4. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) +6.083s
5. Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) +8.834s
6. Simone Corsi (Altogo Racing Team) +10.938s
Fastest Lap: Federico Caricasulo (Ducati) – 1’37.470s, new lap record

Championship standings

1. Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) 197 points
2. Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) 161
3. Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) 148
4. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) 127
5. Niki Tuuli (Dynavolt Triumph) 88
6. Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) 73

WorldSSP heads to Donington Park next – watch it all using the WorldSBK VideoPass!