Vannucci surges to the top on Friday in WorldSSP300 at Assen, three manufacturers in top four

Friday, 21 April 2023 13:08 GMT

Italian rider Matteo Vannucci put in a last-gasp lap in FP2 to top the times in the combined classification

Day one of 2023 for the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship concluded at the TT Circuit Assen for the Pirelli Dutch Round with very little to separate the field after Friday’s two practice sessions. Three tenths were all that kept the top six apart in the combined classification as Italian rider Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) topped the times with a late lap in Free Practice 2 as he topped the times in both FP2 as well as the combined classification.

LEAVING IT LATE: Vannucci moves to the top

Vannucci posted a 1’45.529s on his final lap to move into top spot for the day’s action as he finished three tenths clear of Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) in second with the Spanish rider also leaving it late to post his best time. It meant the pair leapfrogged Samuel Di Sora (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) and demoted the French rider to third place after he soared to top spot with around seven minutes remaining in the session.

THREE MANUFACTURERS IN THE TOP FOUR: little to separate the field

German rider Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) took fourth spot as the lead KTM rider on Friday on his KTM RC 390 R machine, finishing less than a tenth ahead of Dutch rookie Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) in fifth. Veneman had enjoyed a strong first day in WorldSSP300, topping FP1 at one point, but he did have a Turn 11 crash in FP1 which disrupted his running. Humberto Maier (Yamaha MS Racing/AD78 Latin America Team) took sixth after enjoyed a strong Friday, finishing less than a tenth behind Perez Gonzalez in second.

UNPREDICTABLE WEEKEND IN STORE: showing strong pace on Friday

Petr Svoboda (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) was seventh in the combined classification, ahead of Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) as he finished as the second KTM rider on Friday. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse), who was inside the top three in FP1, took ninth in the standings at the end of the day’s action, ahead of Daniel Mogeda (Team#109 Kawasaki) with the Spanish rider rounding out the top ten.

LEADING FP1, 11TH OVERALL: 2020 Champion fastest in FP1

Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) was 11th in the combined classification after being the highest-placed rider to not improve their lap time compared to FP1. His time, a 1’50.070s, was enough to top the first session but it was his fastest time of the day, taking 11th overall. Fenton Seabright (Kawasaki GP Project) was 12th ahead of a trio of Italian riders: Alessandro Zanca (Team#109 Kawasaki) in 13th, Marco Gaggi (Team BrCorse) in 14th and Gabriele Mastroluca (Arco Motor University Team) who rounded out the top 15.

HOUSEKEEPING: to note from WorldSSP300

Kas Beekmans (Sublime Racing by MS Racing) took 19th place after his day was interrupted by a crash in FP1 at Turn 5, while Ruben Bijman (Arco Motor University Team) was another rider who crashed; he came down at the end of FP1 at Turn 9. He finished 16th in the combined classification. Shengjunjie Zhou (China Racing Team) was the last of the classified runners in 32nd place, posting a best lap of 1’53.896s.

The top six following Friday WorldSSP300 action, full results here:

1. Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) 1’49.529s

2. Jose Luis Perez (Accolade Smrz Racing) +0.284s

3. Samuel Di Sora (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) +0.296s

4. Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) +0.304s

5. Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) +0.318s

6. Humberto Maier (Yamaha MS Racing/AD78 Latin America Team) +0.332s

Don’t miss more WorldSSP300 action throughout 2023 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!