Championship contender Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) struck first at Donington Park as the FIM Supersport World Championship burst back into action. In a red-flagged 45-minute Free Practice 1 session, Manzi and rival Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) traded fastest laps at the end of FP1, with only 0.015s separating the two Italians. It was also a strong start to the Prosecco DOC UK Round for Britain’s Tom Booth-Amos (Motozoo ME AIR Racing) as he shone on home soil.
The two-time WorldSSP race winner had been the long-time leader during FP1 and had a dramatic session with a couple of huge moments, with one coming at Turns 6-7 when he pulled off a miraculous save and later at Turn 12 when he ran into the gravel. Montella went fastest after setting a 1’30.192s before the Yamaha rider usurped him with a 1’30.177s. Championship leader Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) claimed third place as he lapped more than two tenths slower than the two Italians ahead of him.
Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) narrowly missed out on a place in the top three with his time just 0.019s slower than Bulega. Home hero Booth-Amos had a solid FP1 at the venue he won at in the British Superbike championship as he took fifth. His best lap was a 1’30.529s to put him around a tenth away from the top three while Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) rounded out the top six as he went around half-a-second slower than Manzi’s best time.
2021 WorldSSP300 Champion Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) was another who enjoyed a strong FP1 as he finished in seventh. He was 0.568s slower than the fastest time but secured a place in the top seven by fending off Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) with the Italian in eighth. Finland’s Niki Tuuli (Dynavolt Triumph) was ninth and French rider Valentin Debise (GMT94 Yamaha) completed the top ten.
The session was red flagged with around nine minutes left when Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) crashed at the Foggy Esses after losing the front of his F3 800 RR machine. When the red flags came out, the Barcelona Race 2 winner was tenth in the classification but dropped down to 13th place as other riders improved their times. The Turkish star was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash.
The top six from WorldSSP FP1, full results here:
1. Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) 1’30.177
2. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) +0.015s
3. Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) +0.253s
4. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) +0.272s
5. Tom Booth-Amos (Motozoo ME AIR Racing) +0.352s
6. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.534s
Don’t miss WorldSSP FP2 from 16:00 Local Time (GMT+1) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!