Sabatucci surges clear of Perez Gonzalez ahead of Portimao title decider, Buis P6

Friday, 29 September 2023 11:17 GMT

The Italian left it late to take top spot, but in the title race Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez finished four tenths clear of Jeffrey Buis…

Kevin Sabatucci (Team Flembbo-PI Performances) left it until his final lap of Free Practice 1 to top the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship timesheets by two tenths. The #85 beat Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) after it looked like the Spaniard would strike first ahead of the Pirelli Portuguese Round title decider, but he still has an advantage over Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) after the first session at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.

Perez Gonzalez had been the fastest throughout the 30-minute FP1 session but Sabatucci’s 1’55.744s with his final lap propelled him to spot ahead of the #73 who had to settle for second. The Spaniard was, for most of the session, the only rider in the 1’55s bracket but Sabatucci and teammate Julio Garcia joined him. The top three were separated by just two tenths as the action got underway for the final round of the WorldSSP300 campaign.

Indonesia’s Galang Hendra Pratama (Sublime Racing by MS Racing) had been in the top three until the final stages, but he was demoted to fourth. His best time was a 1’56.020s as he finished ahead of the MTM Kawasaki duo of Loris Veneman and Jeffrey Buis. Veneman’s session was disrupted by a Turn 15 crash six minutes into the session and he completed only six laps, fewer than anybody else. However, he responded when he was back out on track with a 1’56.376s to finish ahead of Buis. The #6 had moved into second with his penultimate lap of FP1 but a flurry of late laps dropped him down to P6.

Samuel Di Sora (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) had a similar experience to Buis as he moved into the top three at the end of the session before riders on their final lap dropped him to P7. Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) had been behind Perez Gonzalez in the early stages but the six-tenths gap between the two got filled with the Italian finishing in P8, ahead of Jose Manuel Osuna Saez (Deza-Box 77 Racing Team) and Alessandro Zanca (Team#109 Kawasaki) who completed the top ten.

The top six from WorldSSP300 Free Practice 1, full results here:

1. Kevin Sabatucci (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) 1’55.744s

2. Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) +0.215s

3. Julio Garcia (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) +0.238s

4. Galang Hendra Pratama (Sublime Racing by MS Racing) +0.276s

5. Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) +0.632s

6. Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) +0.659s

Watch WorldSSP300 FP2 from 14:15 Local Time (GMT+1) using the WorldSBK VideoPass for only €9.99!