The reigning Champion put in the only lap of the day in the 1’30s bracket as he laid down a marker for the rest of the field
Friday at Donington Park belonged to Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) as the FIM Supersport World Championship returned to action with the Prosecco DOC UK Round. Aegerter posted a 1’30.939s to claim top spot in Free Practice 2 and the combined classification after Friday’s action concluded in the UK, with the reigning Champion having around a two-tenths margin to his nearest rivals.
On his first appearance at the track in WorldSSP, Aegerter was the only rider to post a lap time in the 1’30s bracket throughout both 45-minute sessions to claim top spot with his best time 0.224s clear of Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) in second place, with van Straalen leaving it until his very last lap of the day to post his best lap. Rookie Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) was third on his first appearance in WorldSSP at Donington Park; inside the top six, only Aegerter and Bulega do not have prior WorldSSP experience at the historic British circuit.
French rider Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) showed strong pace throughout the day, including being top of the leader board at points during FP1, before finishing fourth in the combined classification after posting a 1’31.214s; 0.275s back from Aegerter’s pace. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP) was fifth and, like Cluzel, showed strong pace throughout FP1 and FP2 as he led both sessions at times. De Rosa was fastest in the morning FP1 session ahead of Cluzel. Three Ducati riders finished inside the top six with Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) another who showed good pace across the day, finishing around four tenths back from Aegerter’s time.
Rookie Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) was seventh after posting a best time of 1’31.388s. Baldassarri, like most riders, was able to improve his time in the afternoon session. Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) claimed eighth spot ahead of the Dynavolt Triumph duo of Hannes Soomer and Stefano Manzi. Soomer, who took part in a track day at Donington a couple of weeks ago, spent time in FP1 leading the session as Triumph look for a strong result on home soil.
British rider Tom Booth-Amos (Prodina Racing WorldSSP) had a strong FP2 session despite a late crash at the Turn 8 right-hander of Coppice. Shortly after going into the top ten with his best lap, Booth-Amos lost the front at Coppice but was able to re-join although he did not improve his time as he finished in 11th, ahead of Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) and Unai Orradre (MS Racing Yamaha WorldSSP). Orradre crashed at Turn 8 during FP1 while Sebestyen, in the same session, crashed at Turn 9. VFT Racing pair Kyle Smith and Marcel Brenner rounded out the top 15, with Smith 14th after a late crash at Turn 1.
Oli Bayliss (BARNI Spark Racing Team) was classified in 24th for the day after he crashed early on in the 45-minute FP” session on the exit of Turn 10, with the Australian rookie able to take his bike back to the pits and he re-joined the session in the final few minutes. Simon Jespersen (CM Racing) did not set a lap time in FP2, with his FP1 time of 1’32.958s enough for 25th place, while Patrick Hobelsberger (Kallio Racing) was declared unfit for the Round after an FP1 crash. Yari Montella (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 18th in the combined classification with the Italian rider crashing at Turn 12 in FP2, while Ben Currie (Motozoo Racing by Puccetti) was 22nd after he crashed at Turn 5 during FP2.
The top six following Friday action at Donington Park, results here:
1. Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) 1’30.939s
2. Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) +0.224s
3. Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) +0.225s
4. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) +0.275s
5. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP) +0.323s
6. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) +0.400s
Watch WorldSSP Tissot Superpole on Saturday at 10:25 Local Time (GMT+1) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!