Bulega leads Ducati 1-2-3 in WorldSSP Friday action, Aegerter 9th overall in Indonesia
Three Ducati riders headed the field in WorldSSP after a disrupted Free Practice 2 session in Mandalika
Friday action for the FIM Supersport World Championship concluded with the second free practice session at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit for the Pirelli Indonesian Round, with Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) topping the timesheets as he led a Ducati 1-2-3 both in Free Practice 2 and the overall classification. Free Practice 2 was disrupted by a red flag with around 20 minutes left in the session as Bulega led Raffaele de Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP).
DUCATI ON TOP: Bologna manufacturer leads the way on Friday
The top three was filled with Ducati riders, with Bulega topping the times with a 1’38.004s with times vastly quicker than in Free Practice 1 as the asphalt became more rubbered in, with Bulega finding around five seconds between the two sessions. He was more than two tenths clear of Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP) in second place after the Italian had a crash at Turn 12 which limited his running in FP2. It was a similar story for Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) in FP2 after he had a Turn 2 crash, but he was able to respond to take third place, 0.245s down on Bulega’s pace.
THE ITALIAN JOB: five Italians in the top six
Aside from the top three, there were two more Italians in the top six in the combined classification. Yari Montella (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) had a crash at Turn 11 in FP2 but he was able to finish the session in fourth place, ahead of Finnish rider Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Reparto Corse). Tuuli took fifth place, lapping only around three tenths down on Bulega, while FP1 pacesetter Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph) rounded out the top six.
ROUNDING OUT THE TOP TEN: Championship contenders down the order…
Dutch rider Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) was seventh in a tightly-packed field as he posted a 1’38.702s, finishing ahead of both Championship contenders. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) was eighth with title rival Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) in ninth; the pair separated by just one tenth at the end of Friday’s action. Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) completed the top ten as he lapped in 1’39.321s, more than a second off Bulega’s pace.
TO NOTE FROM FRIDAY: housekeeping from WorldSSP
The session was red flagged with just over 20 minutes left after a crash for Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) at Turn 8. The rookie was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash. Simon Jespersen (Kallio Racing), who finished FP1 in second place, was 12th in FP2 ahead of Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha); Cluzel did not set a lap time in the first half of FP1 along with teammate Andy Verdoia (GMT94 Yamaha) who finished in 11th.
The top six following WorldSSP Friday action, full results here:
1. Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) 1’38.004s
2. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP) +0.223s
3. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) +0.245s
4. Yari Montella (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.291s
5. Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +0.341s
6. Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph) +0.564s
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