After not completing a timed lap in FP1, Bulega finished fastest on Friday as he lapped two tenths clear of his rivals at Misano, five Italian riders finish inside the top six
Friday practice for the FIM Supersport World Championship ended with five Italian riders in the top six as Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) topped the combined standings at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” ahead of the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round, finishing more than two tenths clear of his nearest rivals as he put in a late lap to top the times on Friday.
HOME HEROES ON TOP: five Italians in the top six
It was a strong day for Italian riders on the WorldSSP grid with five of them finishing inside the top six. Bulega posted a best time of 1’37.620s in the closing stages of FP2 to top Friday’s timesheets ahead of Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph) in second place; Manzi showing strong pace in both FP1 and FP2 as he showed his and the bike’s potential at Misano. Bulega’s day was disrupted in FP1 as he was unable to set lap times, only two out laps in the morning, but was able to get 22 laps under his belt in FP2 and top the timesheets. The only non-Italian rider to make it into the top six was reigning Champion Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) as he finished in third place, four tenths down on Bulega, with the Swiss rider topping FP2 until the closing stages of the 45-minute session.
NOT FAR AWAY: aiming to close the gap
Three more Italian riders feature in fourth, fifth and sixth with the trio separated by only three tenths of a second. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) claimed fourth spot with a 1’38.230s ahead of Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP) in fifth and Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) in sixth. Baldassarri’s session was cut short when he had a technical issue at Turn 7 in the closing stages of the session, but he was still able to finish in sixth place.
ROUNDING OUT THE TOP TEN: dramatic day for riders in the top ten
Turkish star Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was seventh in the standings despite an FP2 crash at Turn 13 in the latter stages of the session, as he posted a 1’32.618s for seventh spot to finish just a tenth clear of Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) in eighth. Yari Montella (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was ninth but he, like teammate Oncu, had a crash in FP2 when he came down at Turn 3. French rider Andy Verdoia (GMT94 Yamaha) rounded out the top ten with a 1’38.917s but he was another who had a disrupted afternoon when he crashed at Turn 14.
HOUSEKEEPING: to note from Friday
Mattia Casadei (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), replacing the recovering Niki Tuuli, was 11th fastest and less than a tenth away from a top ten spot on his return to the Championship while wildcard Luca Ottaviani (Altogo Racing Team) claimed 19th spot on his second appearance of the season. Rounding out the top 20, Unai Orradre (MS Racing Yamaha WorldSSP) had a Turn 3 in FP2 but claimed 20th spot, while Tom Boot-Amos (Prodina Racing WorldSSP) was 24th after he crashed at Turn 4 in FP2. Ben Currie (Motozoo Racing by Puccetti) was another faller in the afternoon session, crashing at Turn 14, and finished the day in 30th place in the combined classification.
The top six following WorldSSP action on Friday, full results here:
1 Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) 1’37.620s
2. Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph) +0.225s
3. Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.429s
4. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) +0.610s
5. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP) +0.779s
6. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) +0.852s
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