#EstorilWorldSBK – Day 1 roundup: World Superbike, World Supersport, World SSP300
For the first time in 27 years, the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship took to the track at the Circuito Estoril with two Free Practice sessions and it was Scott Redding (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) who topped the combined timesheets as he used his experienced at the Portuguese circuit to this advantage in the early stages of the Pirelli Estoril Round.
Redding had set the pace in the morning Free Practice 1 session and backed that up with the fastest time in Free Practice 2, posting a 1’36.886s in the last few seconds of the second session to pip Toprak Razgatlioglu (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) to top spot; the Turkish rider finishing the day in second place. Frenchman Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) showed strong pace throughout the day and finished in third place despite a crash in Free Practice 2.
Baz went into Turn 1 as he tried to find the limit but lost the front end of his bike and was unable to bring the bike back to the garage himself after damaging a water hose on his Yamaha. The Ten Kate Racing team were able to repair his bike and the French rider returned to the track with around 10 minutes left in the session.
Five-time World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) put in the fourth best time of the day as he looks to secure both his 100th win and six title across the Estoril Round weekend, edging out teammate Alex Lowes by just a tenth of a second. American star Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) was sixth fastest despite an off in the second session; the third Yamaha rider in the top six of the combined times.
Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) finished the day in seventh places, less than a second away from teammate Redding at the front of the field as he beat wildcard Jonas Folger (Bonovo Action by MGM Racing) by just 0.002s; Folger making his second appearance of the season as a wildcard. He was around a tenth faster than Michael van der Mark (PATA YAMAHA WorldSBK Official Team) and Leon Haslam (Team HRC), who completed the top ten.
Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) finished the day in 11th place as the Spanish rider looks to bounce back from a challenging Magny-Cours weekend; but the Spanish rider crashed in Free Practice 2 at Turn 7. Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was in 12th place, ahead of Ducati-bound Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) in 13th.
Spanish rider Xavi Fores (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was 14th as he marks his last weekend with the Kawasaki Puccetti outfit, finishing a tenth ahead of Sylvain Barrier (Brixx Performance). Italian Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team) was 16th, ahead of the returning Matteo Ferrari (Barni Racing Team) in 17th and Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in 18th.
Leandro Mercado (Motocorsa Racing), Eric Granado (MIE Racing HONDA Team), Sheridan Morais (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura), Takumi Takahashi (MIE Racing HONDA Team) and Loris Cresson (OUTDO Kawasaki TPR) rounded out the field; Granado, Morais and Cresson making their first WorldSBK appearance of the season.
The FIM Supersport World Championship arrived at the Circuito Estoril for the season finale with two practice sessions throughout Friday with Italian rider Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) topping the times in the combined classification by almost two tenths as the Pirelli Estoril Round got underway.
De Rosa had been strong in the morning Free Practice 1 session with third place and built on that throughout the second session as he became one of only two riders to lap the circuit in under 1’41. The Italian’s time of 1’40.745s was enough to beat Estonian rider Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) by half a tenth as WorldSBK-bound Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished the day in third place; with three manufacturers completing the top three as MV Agusta led Yamaha and Kawasaki.
Spanish rider Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) completed a strong day for the Kallio Racing outfit in fourth place, despite a crash in this morning’s session, as both Viñales and Soomer finished inside the top four, with South African Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) in fifth place and Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) in sixth; Cluzel returning to action for the first time since being injured earlier in the season in a crash at MotorLand Aragon.
Peter Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) found himself well inside the top ten after a strong showing from the Hungarian rider put him seventh overall, ahead of 2020 WorldSSP Champion and 2021 factory Yamaha rider Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) in eighth with Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in ninth; the German rider just one of two who were unable to improve their time in the second practice session.
Czech wildcard Karel Hanika (WRP Wepol Racing) finished the day in 10th place with Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) in 11th; Perolari crashing at Turn 7 during the second Free Practice session. Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) was in 12th place ahead of lead WorldSSP Challenge rider Kevin Manfredi (Altogoo Racing Team); Manfredi can win the WorldSSP Challenge title this weekend. Can Öncü (Turkish Racing Team) was 14th fastest overall after not improving his time during Free Practice 2 while Danny Webb (WRP Wepol Racing) completed the top 15 after suffering a crash of his own during the second session.
There was no shortage of action during the two Free Practice sessions for the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship on Friday as Italian rider Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) set the pace at the Championship’s first ever visit to the Circuito Estoril as the season-closing Pirelli Estoril Round got underway with the Riders’ Championship still up for grabs.
Ieraci’s time of 1’51.514 from Free Practice 2 was enough to set the fastest time of the day as the Italian struck first ahead of two races across the Estoril Round, hoping he can end the season strongly. He finished ahead of Mika Perez (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) in second place as the Spanish rider showed strong pace, finishing ahead of Ukraine’s Nick Kalinin (Battley-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) who demonstrated impressive Friday pace.
Marc Garcia (2R Racing) finished the day fourth in the standings as he continued his impressive return to the Championship he won in 2017; finishing just ahead of Alvaro Diaz (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300) and Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki); the top six separated by eight tenths of a second.
Samuel di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) was seventh overall after the two practice sessions on Friday, finishing 0.064s away from Booth-Amos to show just how competitive the Championship is. In eighth was Alejandro Carrion (ACCR Smrz Racing by Blue Garage) as the Spanish rider showed strong pace, ahead of Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Machado Came SBK) and Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300) who completed the top ten.
Championship leader Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) finished the day in 15th place, over a second away from Ieraci’s time, with Championship leader and Deroue’s teammate Jeffrey Buis in 18th place; Buis leads Deroue by 28 points heading into the two final races of the season and will be looking to move up the order as the weekend progresses.
Luca de Vleeschauwer (RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) suffered a nasty highside crash as he went through the final corner at the Circuito Estoril with the Belgian unable to take any further part in the session; he was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash, before being declared fit. The Belgian rider finished the day in 33rd place following the crash. Sylvain Markarian (Yamaha MS Racing) and teammate Ton Kawakami both crashed out in the second Free Practice session with both able to get back to their feet following the crash; Markarian finishing the day in 44th place while Kawakami was 25th.