There were shocks throughout the field as wet conditions hit Donington Park on Friday afternoon, with Navarro beating Sarmoon in the rain
The rain fell at Donington Park in the FIM Supersport World Championship on Friday afternoon to cause shocks and surprises, with Jorge Navarro (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) leading Thai star Anupab Sarmoon (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) in the wet conditions. In the combined classification, it was Navarro’s teammate, Stefano Manzi, who led the way by just 0.015s as the Prosecco DOC UK Round shapes up to be an unpredictable and classic battle.
WHAT HAPPENED IN A WET FP2? Navarro fastest, Sarmoon soars
The session started in wet conditions and riders generally took their time to head out on track. A few riders went out as the session went green, but the vast majority waited until track conditions were at their best towards the end of the 45-minute session. Lap times started in the 1’50s bracket before they got quicker as the session progressed although they will still some 13 seconds slower than their dry times. At the end of FP2, Navarro was fastest with a 1’43.646s ahead of Thai rider Sarmoon. The pair were separated by just 0.154s with Italian veteran Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) securing third place.
THE TOP THREE OVERALL: Manzi leads tightly packed front of the field in the combined standings
With rain and wet track conditions greeting the field for FP2, it was the morning’s FP1 times that decided the order on Friday. Title contender Manzi fended off compatriot Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) for top spot with the pair separated by only 0.015s. It was a dramatic day for the Italian, currently second in the Championship, with two huge moments in FP1 including a miraculous save at Turn 7. The pair finished more than two tenths clear of Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) in third with the Championship leader aiming to move up the order on Saturday.
A BRIT SHINES AT HOME: Booth-Amos flies to the front
Fourth place belonged to Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) after he set a 1’30.449s and he missed out on a spot in the top three by just 0.019s. The star of Friday was British rider Tom Booth-Amos (Motozoo ME AIR Racing) as he secured a top-five finish on home soil, lapping 0.352s away from Manzi’s fastest time. French rider Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), continuing to substitute for the injured Can Oncu, showed impressive speed on Friday as he took sixth spot and finished half-a-second down on the fastest time.
STRONG STARTS: four manufacturers inside the top ten…
Spanish rider Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) was another who impressed at Donington Park after he secured seventh place, setting a best time of 1’30.745s and finishing more than a tenth clear of De Rosa in eighth in FP1. Niki Tuuli (Dynavolt Triumph) was ninth with Frenchman Valentin Debise (GMT94 Yamaha) rounding out the top ten. The gap between Manzi and Debise was just 0.825s to set up the weekend’s action perfectly, while there were four different manufacturers in that group.
HOUSEKEEPING: updates on Mantovani and Sofuoglu after FP1 crashes
Andrea Mantovani (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) was declared unfit following an FP1 crash at Turn 5, with the MotoE™ race winner diagnosed with a left knee sprain and leg injury. He was transported to Derby hospital for further assessment following his crash. Turkish star Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was 13th in the combined classification after an opening-session crash, with the Barcelona Race 2 winner ruled out of Friday’s action with suspected concussion; he will be reassessed on Saturday morning.
The top six following Friday’s WorldSSP action, full results here:
1. Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) 1’30.177
2. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) +0.015s
3. Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) +0.253s
4. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) +0.272s
5. Tom Booth-Amos (Motozoo ME AIR Racing) +0.352s
6. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.534s
Don’t miss WorldSSP’s Tissot Superpole session from 10:25 Local Time (GMT+1) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!