Pizzoli claimed his first pole position in the Yamaha R3 Cup with a late lap in the Cup’s Superpole session on Friday
Home hero Andrea Pizzoli produced a stunning lap in the final moments of Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup qualifying at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”, edging ahead of championship leader Enzo Valentim to take pole position.
Pizzoli, winner of the 2021 Yamaha bLU cRU Masterclass, has started on the front row in every race so far this year, but this marks his first pole position in the Cup. He did so by just 0.056s, demoting long-time pace-setter Valentim to second, with fellow Brazilian Gustavo Manso joining them on the front row.
After torrential rain on Thursday and light showers this morning, the 28 riders had to tread carefully on their slick Pirelli tyres through the early stages of Free Practice. In the end, eight riders took turns at the top of the timings as the track continued to dry, and it was wildcard entry Emiliano Ercolani who came out on top.
Fresh from his FIM Supersport 300 World Championship debut at Estoril, Valentim was second fastest, while Italian Diego Palladino ended the session in third. Australian Archie McDonald enjoyed a strong outing to go fourth fastest, ahead of Devis Bergamini and French rider Gregory Carbonnel.
In the 30-minute Superpole session, Ercolani was the first rider to dip below the 1’55 mark, before the times started tumbling down. Valentim hit the top with just over 10 minutes remaining, but the Assen double-winner lost out to Pizzoli, who took pole position on a 1’53.655.
Behind Valentim, Manso celebrated his second consecutive front row start, while Aragon race winner Bergamini produced his best qualifying performance yet to go fourth. France’s Clement Rouge was fifth quickest, just 0.002s ahead of Brazil’s Kevin Fontainha.
McDonald will start seventh, with wildcard pairing Ercolani and Emanuele Cazzaniga going eighth and ninth fastest respectively, while Poland’s Dawid Nowak rounded out the top 10.
Josephine Bruno had shown strong pace earlier in the day on her Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup debut, but an incident with Brazil’s Fabio Florian meant they were both unable to challenge later in the session.
For the full Superpole results, click here.
Andrea Pizzoli said: “It feels amazing to get pole position here at my home race in Misano. I felt like the lap was very good, even though I still made a few mistakes that could’ve been avoided. Fortunately, these mistakes didn’t cost me the pole position. I am very happy about how the season is going in general and above all I reconfirmed my place in this championship with this performance. I want to say a big thank you to my team and Yamaha for their support; this is all dedicated to my grandfather. The plan for tomorrow is to try to build a gap to the others.”