Steeman on top in WorldSSP300 after Friday as he masters difficult conditions

Friday, 9 September 2022 13:05 GMT

The Dutch rider topped both FP1 and FP2 despite tricky conditions impacting running in the second session of the day

Friday’s action for the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship was a dramatic affair at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours for the Pirelli French Round, with difficult track conditions providing challenges as lap times improved throughout the second 30-minute session of the day, with most of the field setting their best lap time in Free Practice 1. Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) topped both sessions as he started the weekend in perfect fashion as he looks to add to his win tally.

DIFFICULT TRACK CONDITIONS: going from wet to dry

The first times in the session were around 14 seconds slower than in Free Practice 1, but the times tumbled as the 30-minute session progressed with them around a second slower than this morning. Steeman’s time of 1’53.262s was the fastest of the day, set in Free Practice 1, with only four riders improving their time in Free Practice 2. German rider Dirk Geiger (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) claimed second spot ahead of Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) in the combined classification for the day.

A CLOSELY-PACKED FIELD: it’s close for the top positions

Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki) finished the day in fourth place with a 1’54.546s, as well as finishing third in FP2, while Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) claimed fifth spot, just 0.020s behind Okaya. Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) was sixth as he ensured all three manufacturers were represented in the top six.

THE FIGHT FOR THE TOP TEN: nothing to separate the field

Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) claimed seventh spot in the combined classification but his FP2 session was disrupted by a crash at Turn 5 in the early stages of the 30-minute session. He was less than a tenth ahead of 2017 Champion Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) in eighth place, with Garcia leading a Spanish trio that rounded out the top ten. Daniel Mogeda (Team#109 Kawasaki) claimed ninth spot ahead of Jose Luis Perez Gonzales (Accolade Smrz Racing) in tenth; Perez Gonzales had a crash in FP1 at Turn 13.

IMPROVING IN FP2: four riders improve their time

Only four riders of the 32-strong field were able to improve their time in FP2. Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing), 15th in the combined classification, improved by around a tenth of a second, as did Alex Millan (SMW Racing) in 17th. Harry Khouri (Team#109 Kawasaki) found three tenths between FP1 and FP2 despite the tricky conditions, claiming 28th place, while Greek rider Ioannis Peristeras (ProGP Racing) found nearly a second as he claimed 31st place.

HOUSEKEEPING: to note from Friday

Free Practice 2 got off to a dramatic start for Italian rider Marco Gaggi (Vinales Racing Team) had a crash at Turn 5, with Gaggi taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash. He was later declared unfit with a suspected left shoulder dislocation and suspected hill sachs injury, as well as a left shoulder impairment. Championship leader Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) finished 16th in the combined classification, though was 10th in FP2.

The top six following Friday running at Magny-Cours, full results here:

1. Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) 1’53.262s

2. Dirk Geiger (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) 0.759s

3. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) +1.275s

4. Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki) +1.284s

5. Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) +1.303s

6. Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) +1.326s

Don’t miss any action from Magny-Cours using the WorldSBK VideoPass!