Steeman storms to the top in WorldSSP300 on Friday at Assen, Ieraci fastest in FP1
The Dutch rider improved his time and became the only rider to lap in the 1’48s bracket on Friday at Assen
The FIM Supersport 300 World Championship’s visit to the TT Circuit Assen for the Motul Dutch Round got underway on Friday and it was home rider Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) who set the pace. At his home venue, and the circuit he secured pole position at in 2021, Steeman was the only rider to lap in the 1’48s at Assen on his way to top spot as he looks for success on home soil.
A CHANCE FOR HOME GLORY? Steeman and MTM Kawasaki lead the way…
Steeman secured pole position for the 2021 Dutch Round when riding for KTM and continued to show strong pace at his home venue in 2022 as he topped the times ahead of teammate Yuta Okaya. Steeman’s best time came in the afternoon Free Practice 2 30-minute session as he posted a 1’48.937s, the only rider to lap in the 1’48s. Okaya was around three tenths back from his teammate but, like Steeman, was able to improve in FP2 as he found around half-a-second compared to his FP1 time. Bruno Ieraci (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) claimed third spot in the combined classification after a strong start to the day for the Italian, although he was 18th in the afternoon FP2 session.
NOT FAR AWAY: it’s close in WorldSSP300 at Assen
German rider Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) was fourth as he showed the pace for the KTM machine as the sole rider from the Austrian manufacturer. His best time, a 1’49.475s, was set in the morning FP1 session and he did not improve in the afternoon. Another Dutch rider aiming for success on home soil, Ruben Bijman (MTM Kawasaki) claimed fifth spot with a best time of 1’49.581s; also set in the morning FP1 session. French rider Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) claimed sixth spot in the combined classification after a strong start for the Prodina Racing outfit, posting a best time of 1’49.619s in FP1.
HOPING FOR A STEP FORWARD: rounding out the top ten
2017 Champion Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing), currently second in the Championship, was seventh as he posted a best time of 1’49.787s across Friday’s running, hoping to become Yamaha’s first winner at the Dutch venue in WorldSSP300. Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing) was eighth ahead of Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) in ninth. Diaz was seventh fastest in FP1 but last in the classification in FP2, completing only three laps and having a crash at Turn 5 in the closing stages of the 30-minute session. Brazilian rider Ton Kawakami (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) rounded out the top ten with tenth place, posting a best time of 1’49.857s.
The top six combined times from WorldSSP300 Friday at Assen, full results here:
1. Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) 1’48.937s
2. Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki) +0.333s
3. Bruno Ieraci (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) +0.362s
4. Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) +0.538s
5. Ruben Bijman (MTM Kawasaki) +0.644
6. Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) +0.682s
Watch WorldSSP300 Tissot Superpole tomorrow at 09:45 (Local Time, GMT+2) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!