REPORT: Carrasco fastest on Day 1 of Cremona WorldWCR test, Mei Liu quickest in afternoon rain

The first collective track action for the FIM Women’s Circuit Racing World Championship took place at the Cremona Circuit in Italy, with Ana Carrasco (Evan Bros Racing Yamaha Team) taking advantage of dry conditions in the morning to end the day on top. With rain falling in the afternoon, times didn’t improve after the second session which allowed the Spaniard to secure P1 on Day 1 of the test. With the season starting at Misano in a month, the test will prove valuable for the grid to get accustomed to their Yamaha R7 machines and Pirelli tyres even with wet conditions impacting Day 1.

DRY RUNNING ORDER: Carrasco leads Michel and Ourednickova

The best times of the day were set in the morning as rain fell and thunder blared at around 14:00 Local Time (UTC+2), forcing everyone to swap from Pirelli’s slick tyres to the wet tyres. It meant Carrasco, the 2018 WorldSSP300 Champion, was fastest on Day 1 with a 1’45.949s, four tenths clear of 19-year-old Lucy Michel (TSL-Racing) in second. Third place belonged to Adela Ourednickova (DafitMotoracing), who set a 1’47.250s to round out the top three. However, the Czech rider was the first crasher of the test, coming down at the end of the straight in the fourth session.

NOT FAR BEHIND: impressing on debut…

Ran Yochay (511 Terra&Vita Racing Team) just missed out on a place in the top three when she set a 1’47.455s, just two tenths away from Czech rider Ourednickova ahead. It was closely-contested in the 20-minute Free Practice 1 session – the final dry session of the day – with the USA’s Mallory Dobbs (Sekhmet Motorcycle Racing Team) in fifth, a tenth behind Yochay, and Australia’s Tayla Relph (TAYCO Motorsport) in sixth. The Brisbane-born competitor was fastest in the 10-minute Warm Up session that started the day to start her campaign strongly at a circuit she was riding at for the first time.

NINE COUNTRIES IN THE TOP NINE: quick riders from all over the world

Chun Mei Liu (WT Racing Team Taiwan) secured a seventh-place finish on Day 1 after setting a 1’48.545s, finishing almost two tenths ahead of Jessica Howden (Team Trasimeno) in eighth. Just half a tenth separated Howden in P8 and Roberta Ponziani (Yamaha Motoxracing WCR Team) in ninth, with the Italian setting a 1’48.712s. Nine different nationalities were represented in the top nine on Day 1, showcasing the diversity of the inaugural WorldWCR field. Nicole Van Aswegen (Andalaft Racing) completed the top ten with a 1’50.086s, around 1.4 seconds slower than Ponziani ahead.

THE RAIN FALLS: times don’t improve in the afternoon

Despite rain falling, the WorldWCR field took advantage to test the Yamaha R7 in wet conditions. Michel was the first rider to head out in the third session, followed quickly by Ornella Ongaro (Yamaha Motoxracing WCR Team) and Nicole Van Aswegen (Andalaft Racing). The fastest time came from Chun Mei Liu (WT Racing Team Taiwan) in the fourth session as she posted a 1’54.139s, only 0.138s clear of Dobbs in second after she set a 1’54.277s. Third place went to Relph, who was a second away from Mei Liu’s time, but also almost 1.5 seconds faster than Astrid Madrigal (ITALIKA Racing FIMLA) in fourth.

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