The reigning Champion, racing for the first time in WorldSSP in Barcelona, topped both FP1 and FP2 to end the day quickest after breaking the lap record in FP2
A lack of experience at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in the FIM Supersport World Championship did not prevent Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) from setting a new all-time lap record in the Championship during Friday’s Free Practice 2 session on the way to top spot for the Catalunya Round. After topping Free Practice 1 by three tenths, Aegerter smashed the lap record to finish more than a second clear of his rivals in FP2 and in the combined classification.
AEGERTER VS BALDASSARRI IN SPAIN? Top two in the title race, top two in Barcelona…
Aegerter’s posted a 1’44.507s to top the timesheets and, with it, set a new all-time lap record at the Spanish circuit as he went under the record previously set by now-Moto2™ star Manuel Gonzalez by almost a tenth of a second. Aegerter’s nearest rival was also his nearest rival in the title fight, with Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) claiming second spot but around a second down on his title rival; Baldassarri did not improve his time in FP2 with his time of 1’45.512s, set in FP1, his best. Third was Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) as the Italian rookie claimed third place after a late lap in FP2 moved him into second in the session standings, but third overall.
A STRONG DAY FOR MV AGUSTA: Tuuli inside the top four
Niki Tuuli’s (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) recovery from injury and surgery continues to gather pace and he showed plenty of speed on Friday in Barcelona as he took fourth spot in the combined standings; with the Finnish rider third in FP1 and third in FP2. He finished ahead of Turkish sensation Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in fifth, with Oncu hoping to stand on the rostrum during the Catalunya Round for the first time since Race 2 at Assen. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) took sixth spot in the combined classification as he looks to carry over his strong form from Magny-Cours into Barcelona.
ROUNDING OUT THE TOP TEN: all five manufacturers in the fight
All five manufacturers competing in the 2022 WorldSSP campaign were represented inside the top ten after Friday’s action in Barcelona, with Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph) taking seventh spot after posting a 1’45.936s in FP2. He was ahead of Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) in eighth place with Caricasulo heading fellow Italian rider Yari Montella (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in ninth. Montella’s FP2 session was disrupted by a crash at Turn 5 with just over 30 minutes remaining in the session, although he did re-join the circuit to take his bike back to the pits. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP) completed the top ten as he finished a run of four Italian riders in the classification., while he did not improve his lap time like the majority of the field in FP2
STRONG RESULTS ON THE CARDS: just missing out on the top ten
Turkish rider Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) had a strong Friday as he finished 11th as the lead WorldSSP Challenge rider, with Sofuoglu able to put in sector one times that were often the fastest of the session throughout the 45-minute FP2 track time. He was ahead of Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) with the Dutchman claiming 12th place, finishing ahead of Isaac Vinales (D34G Racing), continuing to substitute for Filippo Fuligni, in 13th. Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) was 14th despite a crash at Turn 10 but he, like Montella, was able to take his bike back to the garage of his own accord. Oli Bayliss (BARNI Spark Racing Team) rounded out the top 15 although he had a trip through the gravel towards the end of the session.
TO NOTE: housekeeping from Friday
Ben Currie (Motozoo Racing by Puccetti) took 28th place despite an FP2 crash, while wildcard Aleix Viu (Andotrans Team Torrento) had a technical issue with around 27 minutes left in the session, with the Spanish rider taking 24th place in the classification. On his last flying lap, Marc Alcoba (VFT Racing) had a crash at Turn 14 which prevented him from setting a final lap time, with the Spanish rider in 30th place.
The top six from WorldSSP Friday running, full results here:
1 Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) 1’44.507s
2. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) +1.005s
3. Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) +1.015s
4. Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +1.157s
5. Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +1.162s
6. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) +1.297s
Don’t miss more incredible WorldSSP action from Barcelona-Catalunya using the WorldSBK VideoPass!