The two title contenders will start on the front row at Portimao after a dramatic Superpole session in Portugal
Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) claimed a lap record breaking pole position at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. He was almost four tenths clear of his FIM Supersport 300 World Championship rivals in the Tissot Superpole session as he broke last year’s lap record by almost six tenths. However, the grid for Race 1 in the Pirelli Portuguese Round will look vastly different compared to the Superpole results due to a range of grid penalties being handed out for various offences on Friday although the three title contenders do not have grid penalties.
SMASHING THE LAP RECORD: six tenths under last year’s pole time
As the riders completed the first half of the session, Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) smashed the lap record with a 1’54.824s to take top spot ahead of teammate Jeffrey Buis, with 0.261s separating the pair, before the #6 improved to reduce the gap to 0.044s. With around four minutes left, Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) had been on for the fastest lap but lost time in the final sector, slotting in between the two MTM Kawasaki riders. On his final flying, the #73 posted a 1’54.428s to beat Veneman’s new lap record and break last year’s record by 0.580s and claim his second pole position of the year, with Veneman second and Buis third.
PENALTIES CHANGE THE GRID: multiple riders have grid drops
Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) left it late to move up the order but took fourth in Superpole, half-a-second down on Perez Gonzalez’s time. Julio Garcia (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) was fifth in Superpole but he’s one of several riders with a grid drop. He has a five-place grid drop due to setting five or more slow sectors in FP2. Jose Manuel Osuna Saez (Deza-Box 77 Racing Team) took sixth but will gain from Garcia’s penalty in Race 1.
A MIXED UP GRID: unpredictability the order of the day
Italian star Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) wrapped up the Pirelli Best Lap Award for 2023 as he finished seventh, with the #91 the last rider within a second of the pole time. Galang Hendra Pratama (Sublime Racing by MS Racing) was eighth but will be demoted five places on the Race 1 grid for five or more slow sectors in FP1. Marco Gaggi (Team BrCorse) was ninth with Samuel Di Sora (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) tenth and Ruben Bijman (Arco Motor University Team) in 11th. However, due to the penalty for Hendra Pratama, he’ll start Race 1 from the third row.
INSIDE THE TOP 15: can they make progress?
Daniel Mogeda (Kawasaki GP Project) took 12th but will have a five-place grid drop for Race 1 for setting five or more slow sectors in FP2, finishing ahead of Humberto Maier (Yamaha MS Racing/AD78 Latin America Team) in 13th. Petr Svoboda (Fusport-RT Motorsport by SKM-Kawasaki) was 14th but he, like Mogeda, has a five-place grid drop for the same offence in FP2. Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) completed the top 15 in Superpole but will start higher in Race 1.
HOUSEKEEPING: more penalties on the grid…
Devis Bergamini (ProGP Racing) took 24th in Superpole but he will not take part in Race 1. The FIM Stewards have suspended him for his next race due to multiple infringements throughout 2023. Mattia Martella (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) has a 10-place grid drop for the Race 1 grid although he was 29th in the 20-minute session, directly behind Kevin Sabatucci (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) who has a five-place grid penalty for slow sectors in FP2. Meanwhile, Marc Garcia (China Racing Team) will start both races from the pitlane for exceeding the engine allocation rules this year.
The top six from WorldSSP300 Superpole, full results here:
1. Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) 1’54.428s
2. Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) +0.396s
3. Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) +0.440s
4. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) +0.531s
5. Julio Garcia (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) +0.856s
6. Jose Manuel Osuna Saez (Deza-Box 77 Racing Team) +0.985s
Watch Race 1 from 12:40 Local Time (GMT+1) using the WorldSBK VideoPass – now only €9.99!