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Alvaro Bautista claimed the Superpole Race victory to kick off Sunday in strong form, with Michael Van Der Mark proving consistent claiming the runner up position on the podium, with Marco Melandri closing out the podium. Rea who had to start from the back of the grid was fourth.
Race 2 of the weekend saw disaster strike for Ducati, with Bautista and Davies both crashing out of contention, with Michael Van Der Mark claiming the win from Rea, with Razgatlioglu claiming the final podium position.
Alvaro Bautista leaves Jerez with 300 points to Jonathan Rea’s 259, while Michael Van Der Mark is third with 188-points.
Tissot Superpole Race
In the Tissot Superpole Race, the first of the Sunday, riders made various changes in terms of tyres. In particular, seven of them used the SCX solution, while Jonathan Rea started from the last spot on the grid because of a penalty for making contact with Alex Lowes in Race 1.
This moved all the other riders up one spot on the grid. Álvaro Bautista therefore started from pole position and led the entire race, managing his advantage over the direct followers and finishing first, as he had done in Race 1.
Behind him, various riders jockeyed for position, but in the end it was Michael Van Der Mark besting the rest, managing to finish on the second step of the podium for the second time this weekend, ahead of Marco Melandri who, after taking third in yesterday’s race due to the penalty levied against Jonathan Rea, took a well-deserved position on the bottom step of the podium today.
Fourth place went to Jonathan Rea who rode a race from behind, making a truly astonishing comeback if you consider that there were only 10 laps in which to do it. Worth a mention is Alex Lowes’ crash on the fourth lap which gives him a pointless finish for this race as well, after the unfortunate result yesterday.
WSBK – Race 2
In what was a thrilling Race 2 at Jerez, an uncharacteristic error from Alvaro Bautista at the start of Lap 2 saw the Spaniard suffer his first racing crash in WorldSBK. The battle for the win came alive as Jonathan Rea and Michael van der Mark went head-to-head in the Spanish sun, resulting in the Dutchman taking his first win of 2019, while Razgatlioglu romped to third and yet another podium.
Into Turn 1 on the opening lap, Marco Melandri took the initial advantage, while a disaster for his fellow Yamaha rider Alex Lowes, who crashed at Turn 2 on the opening lap. Bautista took the lead at Turn 5 and Michael van der Mark followed him through as Melandri went wide. Jonathan Rea took the pair of Yamaha riders at Turn 6, in a bid to pursue Bautista at the front.
However, it was a disaster for the Spaniard at the beginning of Lap 2 as he crashed out of the lead! The championship leader was on the floor at Turn 1, with his ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati tumbling through the gravel. Bautista remounted but retired soon after. The race was now on, as Jonathan Rea led van der Mark and Marco Melandri, ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Chaz Davies completing the top five.
With 15 laps to go, the top five were covered by a second but disaster struck again, this time at Turn 5, as Marco Melandri attempted an ambitious pass on Davies, resulting in both riders crashing out. Davies was clearly frustrated with his former teammate, as both of them lost the chance to achieve a good result with Bautista out. Three of the main protagonists had suffered terrible results – Jonathan Rea was now looking like he was going to walk away from Jerez with a strong haul of points.
Michael van der Mark wasn’t prepared to let Rea have it all his own way, as the Dutchman took the lead with 14 laps to go at Turn 6. Jonathan Rea initially stayed with the Yamaha of van der Mark but couldn’t keep with the relentless pace of the 26-year-old out front, as 10 laps later, he had pulled out a two seconds lead. Alvaro Bautista had re-joined and was circulating in 16th position, ready to pick up the pieces in case anyone else was to crash out.
Battles continued to develop down the field, as Michael Ruben Rinaldi, who rocketed through from 11th on the grid to be the top running Ducati in fourth position, ahead of a jostling Sandro Cortese and Leon Haslam, with the Brit getting ahead of the German in the closing stages at Turn 1.
A crash for Ryuichi Kiyonari at the fast Turn 11 resulted in gravel being put all over the circuit and a red flag coming out with two laps to go. Kiyonari walked away from the crash, although his bike was not so fortunate, having barrel rolled.
Michael van der Mark was a winner once again completing a faultless weekend, right the way through from FP1 to Race 2. Second position and closing the gap down to Bautista in the championship to 41 points, Jonathan Rea was happy to be back on the podium. It was another stunning ride from Toprak Razgatlioglu to complete the race in third position. Rinaldi took a career-best fourth, whilst Leon Haslam fought hard to complete the top five.
Just behind the Brit, Sandro Cortese took his best WorldSBK result. Seventh position belonged to Tom Sykes, who had a relatively quiet Acerbis Spanish Round, whilst Jordi Torres, Loris Baz and a superb Tommy Bridewell completed the top ten on a day where Independent teams took the majority of top ten placings.
Leandro Mercado had a good comeback in 11th, ahead of Markus Reiterberger, Yuki Takahashi and Alex Lowes in 14th place being the last of the point-scorers.
Michael van der Mark – P1
“What an amazing day! I was a bit upset with myself in the Sprint Race because I tried some optimistic overtakes that lost me a lot of time but in the end, I managed to finish second, which put me on the front row for Race 2. I got a good start but then Johnny passed me quite quickly and I was happy to sit behind him and conserve my tyres after Alvaro crashed out. But his pace wasn’t quite what I wanted to do and I could see the group behind were starting to catch us, so I decided to put in a pass and see if I could pull away, which I did. It’s been an incredible weekend and the bike has been great, with only very small changes required. I’m really happy with the progress made with the bike, so many thanks to the team and to Yamaha for all their hard work.”
Jonathan Rea – P2
“In the final race I did not have the pace of Mikey. I need to check the times but we definitely made a step with the bike set-up from yesterday afternoon to today, especially with the front end feeling in the faster corners. But over the lap there were some areas where I was very close, or even better than Michael, but in one crucial area I just lost too much. It is something we have been working on all weekend and today the bike was better. I needed a clean day today to finish both races strongly. This morning’s race took a lot out of me mentally and physically – coming from the back of the grid to try and make up all those positions in a short space of time. I am looking forward to Misano now.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu – P3
“Today I am really happy to take a second podium of the year. In this morning’s short race we tried a new set-up but I did not like it. We came back to the same set-up as we used earlier. Today I followed Michael van der Mark and Johnny, but I was on my limit. I watched Johnny as he has the same bike but my big problem was in turn 11 and 12. In the last eight laps my front tyre had started to slide and I reduced my pace because I was in a podium position.”
Leon Haslam – P5
“Every session we were struggling with the front traction and we ran a bit more angle and corner speed compared to some of the other Kawasaki riders and I think that has been hindering me, especially as the temperatures have risen. I have tried to adapt my style and played around a little bit with set-up. I felt in that final race of the weekend I had good pace and could have challenged for that third place but I get stuck behind Tom for too many laps. Then when I got past him I was pushing too hard, like I was before, making too many mistakes. I was just lining Rinaldi up when the red flags came out. Another fifth place, so obviously I am not too happy about the result, but we have managed a lot of problems here this weekend.”
Sandro Cortese – P6
“It was a good race this afternoon, which I finished with my best result of the season. The lap times increased a lot compared to Race 1 yesterday, which meant we didn’t quite have the set-up we needed to run with the front guys and challenge for maybe a fourth place finish today. But, we learned a lot and we know what we need to do for the next race, so I leave Jerez happy with the race result and with the progress we’ve made. Now I’m looking forward to the next race in Misano, where we will aim to fight once again with these guys and, hopefully, secure an even better result.”
Tom Sykes – P7
“All things considered, I really feel that we had a decent set of results. I’m a little bit disappointed with race two. I had a big moment in the fast last right hander. I lost the front with 170 km/h and the slide was over fifty metres so it was lucky that we were able to save it. I was able to catch up with the guys again but wasn’t able to pass. Overall, I think we had some decent results given where we are with the performance of the engine. We’re continuing to collect information for moving forward. So now my expectations are to keep the program developing towards the podium. That’s the ultimate target. When you look at the team, the manufacturer and the riders, we have high potential but obviously just for now we need to sit back and understand what we’ve got in this little gap and hopefully for Misano we can have another step forward.”
Álvaro Bautista – DNF
“Today was a day of two halves, in the sense that first we won the Superpole Race and then I crashed on lap 2 of the second race. It was a pity because I did nothing strange, I just lost the front, but racing is like that sometimes. The Jerez weekend was amazing, not only because of my two wins but also for the atmosphere here in the paddock, and for all the fans who came to the circuit to witness the show. Now we have only to continue the great work we did this weekend and try and repeat the same sensations in the next round at Misano.”
Chaz Davies – DNF
“I was quite aware that this was going to be a difficult weekend but I was hoping that with a good mind-set I could have got some decent results. On this type of circuit, with many longish corners, I was really far away with the set-up. I had a vibration issue with the bike in the Superpole Race, but then the guys did a great job to give me a good bike for the last race, where at least I could ride it OK. But then I got caught up in the incident with Melandri at Turn 5. I’m OK, I just picked up a big bruise on the hip and the side of the leg.”
Marco Melandri – DNF
“It was a shame to finish the weekend with a crash, but when you think about where we were just two weeks ago and then how we were able to fight for the podium in all three races here in Jerez, it’s something so positive for us. It’s unfortunate that Chaz didn’t leave me the same amount of space I left him when the positions were reversed on the previous lap, but for me it was a racing incident and nothing more. Like I said, it’s a shame, because another podium finish was a real possibility today, even if fighting with Toprak was difficult because he’s so aggressive on the brakes. Anyway, I go home from here much more positive for the future.”
Alvaro Bautista has claimed his 12th win of the season, with massive crowds turning out to cheer on the Spaniard on his home turf, with a dominant performance in Race 1 putting the rider back on form in the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, with nearest challenger in the title race Jonathan Rea involved in a last lap-last corner fracas with Alex Lowes, that later saw penalties remove his podium placing.
Taking the lead between Turn 4 and 5 on the opening lap, nobody challenged Alvaro Bautista for the rest of the race, as the Spaniard set a scorching pace. Getting into a rhythm early on, Bautista never looked in doubt of winning at Jerez for the first time since his first ever World Championship victory back in 2006 in 125cc Grand Prix.
Becoming the first Spanish rider to win at Jerez, Bautista made it only the fifth occasion where a Spanish rider has won on Spanish soil – of which four have been achieved by Alvaro himself. Along with this, he faces more records, as one more win will level him overall in the wins table with Eugene Laverty and Aaron Slight, whilst winning the remaining two races will see him equal the number of wins by Scott Russell, John Kocinski and Ben Spies – all of which won championships.
“I’m really happy with this great win today. This morning we made a few small changes to the Panigale V4 R which allowed me to improve the feeling. In the Superpole we did a very fast time and managed to get onto the front row, which was our aim. In these conditions, because of the high temperature, I used up a lot of energy and also had to manage the tyre wear in the best way possible. On the opening lap I took the lead of the race and made my own pace, which I was able to administer until the chequered flag. I’m very happy to win again after Imola, and I’m proud to be the first Spanish rider to win an SBK race here at Jerez, in front of all my family, friends and fans. I want to dedicate this win to my grandfather, who passed away a few days ago, for sure he gave me extra motivation for this victory.”
Unfortunately, his team-mate Chaz Davies was unable to get in amongst the fight for the leading positions. Starting from eleventh place on the grid, the 32-year-old Welshman struggled throughout the race, showing a scarce feeling with his bike, and as a result he was not able to go any higher than seventh place.
“Today’s race was a tough one. After not getting a particularly good start, in the early laps the feeling with the bike wasn’t very good and I struggled to get into the rhythm. Then, in the middle part of the race I found myself a bit behind the group that was fighting for fifth place, but I couldn’t catch them. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to say, for me it was complicated just to get to the end of the race. The only positive aspect is that it was useful to do 20 laps in these conditions which allowed us to get a lot of information. We’ll have a look at all the data with the engineers and hopefully can come up with something good for tomorrow.”
After his tangle with Alex Lowes, Jonathan Rea has been handed penalties as a consequence. The four-time WorldSBK champion made a rash move on the Yamaha man at the final corner on the final lap, meaning that he has been dropped one position in the overall classification.
Additionally, the Northern Irishman has been handed a back of the grid start for his on-track escapade in Race 1. This promotes Marco Melandri to the podium in Race 1 – his second of the season, whilst ironically, Alex Lowes will benefit from a front row start.
“Our bike, with grip, was working incredibly well today, especially in the morning in the cooler conditions. I was able to build into that Superpole lap with a three stop strategy – first with a race tyre, then with a pre-qualifier and then at the end with the qualifying tyre. With the temperatures rising in the afternoon, maybe a combination of that, or what we changed on the rear of the bike a little, I really struggled right at the apex of the corners to turn around. It was putting so much stress on the front tyre. I tried to do the best I could, but when Alvaro came past it was on a completely different rhythm. I found myself on a similar pace to Alex. On the last lap I tried to be as close as possible to do something in the last corner. I saw him going wide on the racing line so I decided to do a cutback and go to the inside. Unfortunately at that point he was fully committed to the corner, I did not got through far enough, we had contact and he went down. I am really sorry for ending his race but it was a real racing accident; last lap, last corner battle.”
Both Pata Yamaha WorldSBK riders were involved in a race long battle for the podium in today’s opening WorldSBK encounter in Jerez. But while Michael van der Mark ended the day celebrating a superb run to second place, Alex Lowes was left battered and bruised.
Michael van der Mark
“The bike felt really good in Superpole, but I made a couple of mistakes than cost me a few tenths and that meant I started from the third row of the grid today. I got a good start, managed to make up quite a few places in the opening laps and then quickly settled into a good rhythm as I tried to conserve my tyres. When I passed Alex I was struggling a bit with the front and having to ride a bit differently, but I was still able to close on Johnny and then pass him for second. I tried to pull a gap straight away, but he managed to stay with me for a couple of laps before I could get away from him. The bike was really good today; the guys have done an amazing job and the package has improved, but we still need to find a little more improvement with the front ahead of the two races tomorrow.”
“Obviously I’m gutted with the eventual outcome of the race. I was struggling with the bike a little bit in the race, which meant I wasn’t able to stay with Michael, but I felt I could be consistent with the pace I had. It was a good battle with Johnny; I felt I was a bit stronger than him and with three laps to go managed to get in front. I put in a good, solid, clean last lap and I felt like I had the beating of Johnny but then he made a big error of judgement in the final corner and took me straight off the bike. It was a decent hit and I’m pretty sore right now. He’s been penalised for the move, but that doesn’t change the fact that I missed out on the podium and 16 really important points, which is a shame. Anyway, there are a few things we can improve on the bike; my pace has been strong all weekend and, luckily, we have two races tomorrow in which to try and make up for today’s loss. A disappointing result, but there are also plenty of positives we can take away from today.”
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK rider, Marco Melandri, who originally finished today in fourth place, was promoted to third five hours after the chequered flag due to the FIM’s subsequent 1-position penalty being imposed on Rea.Michael van der Mark
“Obviously it’s not the same getting a podium finish this way rather than being in a straight race for it, but I see this as like a present for the hard work of everyone in the team and at Yamaha that we did and are still doing. This result, even if it was a bit of a gift, will only motivate us further to make improvements so that, once again, we’re in a position to really fight for the podium on track.”
Our bike, with grip, was working incredibly well today, especially in the morning in the cooler conditions. I was able to build into that Superpole lap with a three stop strategy – first with a race tyre, then with a pre-qualifier and then at the end with the qualifying tyre. With the temperatures rising in the afternoon, maybe a combination of that, or what we changed on the rear of the bike a little, I really struggled right at the apex of the corners to turn around. It was putting so much stress on the front tyre. I tried to do the best I could, but when Alvaro came past it was on a completely different rhythm. I found myself on a similar pace to Alex. On the last lap I tried to be as close as possible to do something in the last corner. I saw him going wide on the racing line so I decided to do a cutback and go to the inside. Unfortunately at that point he was fully committed to the corner, I did not got through far enough, we had contact and he went down. I am really sorry for ending his race but it was a real racing accident; last lap, last corner battle. http://jonathan-rea.com/news/superpole-winner-then-fourth-rea
Jonathan Rea took his KRT Ninja ZX-10RR to a record breaking Superpole success at Jerez and then followed it up with an eventual fourth p Source: Jonathan Rea On Facebook
Day one at Jerez has concluded for the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship, with Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) putting in a late lap in FP2 to go top. Despite a late red flag after a spectacular crash for Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) left gravel and debris on the track at Turn 4, a flurry of action concluded the session with many changes in positions.
Championship leader Alvaro Bautista was on top in FP2 for the majority of the session before being knocked off his familiar perch by Van der Mark for a brief moment. The Spanish rookie, who has raced at Jerez many times, went back on top in the closing stages with the fastest lap of the weekend. Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) had a tough day at the office, but you can never discount the Welshman; the former WorldSBK runner-up finished eleventh overall.
Michael van der Mark continued his strong performance from the morning session, becoming the first rider to go into the 1’39s in FP2, improving in the final five minutes to consolidate his strong pace. His teammate, Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was again a prominent figure at the sharp end, ending the day in fourth, with the Pata Yamaha pairing enjoying the return to Jerez.
The Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK strategy for Jonathan Rea looked to be to send him out and get him to dial laps in, with the reigning four-time WorldSBK Champion setting numerous consecutive fast laps. On his tenth lap, Rea improved his time before finally improving to third on the combined timesheets, improving his time in the latter part of the session but remaining in third. His teammate Leon Haslam completed the day in ninth in the session and overall.
2013 World Superbike Champion Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) didn’t improve his time overall until very late in the session, placing fifth overall, ahead of Tissot Superpole on Saturday. Whilst Sykes showed strong signs of improvement, Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was out on track for the first time. With no lap time set in FP1, FP2 proved crucial for the German rider, who finished 15th at the end of the day.
A strong start in FP1 for Melandri saw the Italian crash in FP2, albeit with himself being OK and riding the bike back to the pits. He finished sixth on combined times. Teammate Sandro Cortese improved his time and completed the day in seventh, with a strong end to FP2. It has been a strong start for Yamaha at the Acerbis Spanish Round, with four in the top seven.
In eighth place, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team) enjoyed a strong FP2 and maintained his top ten placing from FP1. The Italian was the second Ducati in the session and also, the third Independent team rider behind the GRT duo. Turkish Puccetti Racing rider Toprak Razgatlioglu finished tenth at the end of the day.
WorldSBK returnee Loris Baz was back with a bang, as he had a massive crash at Turn 4, although he was OK. His bike cartwheeled through the gravel trap, bringing out a momentary red flag for debris.
Álvaro Bautista – P1
“Today it was a very positive day, even though in the morning session we had a few problems with excessive tyre wear, probably because of the track conditions after the rain that fell overnight. In the afternoon therefore the work focussed on this aspect in particular. I really liked one of the new rear tyre solutions for its durability and consistency even though we used it over a distance that was longer than that of the race, at the same time also improving the feeling with the front over this morning. Tomorrow we’ll focus more on fine-tuning the chassis because I’m convinced we can make a further improvement and as a result another step forward.”
Michael van der Mark – P2
“It’s been a really positive opening day and I felt good with the bike from the start. The changes we tested in Misano really seem to have worked and that inspired a lot of confidence in the R1. We knew this afternoon would be interesting once the track temperature went up, so we wanted to see how the bike reacted to that. Again, I was quick from the start, but we still need to do a bit more work to improve on the brakes, as I’m still struggling a little to get the bike stopped. But, overall, I’m really happy with the first day here in Jerez.”
Jonathan Rea – P3
“It was a really positive day in the end as we managed to turn things around. The biggest challenge was coming from riding the Endurance machine in Japan only a few days ago to this morning. I got a little bit lost with my feeling on the bike. Also, since they re-asphalted the surface here the grip is so, so high. It is an abnormal feeling to ride on it and you do not understand the limit because the grip is so high. So, I am just trying to acclimatise to that. I also tried all options of rear tyres to confirm our understand of which one to use. In the afternoon session we changed a few things to give me a bit more confidence on the brakes and we reconfirmed the step we made in a Misano test with my position on the bike. I was happy with where we were.”
Alex Lowes – P4
“We made a good start in FP1 this morning, finishing the session second behind Michael. This afternoon I did just over race distance on a set of tyres, which dropped us down the times a little but the pace was still good. We’ve got some new parts that we weren’t able to test over a long run at the Misano test because of the weather but, after today, we have a much better understanding of the bike and where we’ve improved. I’ve always been fast here in Jerez, so I know I can do the times, but we just wanted to work on the bike on worn tyres and in the hotter temperatures this afternoon, to get a better feel for how it’s going to be in the race tomorrow. A good start to the weekend and one on which we can build for the race tomorrow. I’m happy.”
Marco Melandri – P6
“I’m feeling much better on the bike with a different riding position and that also gave me a better feeling with the tyres. Now we have to work in a slightly different way for the set-up but I’m happy, because for the first time I’m not so far from the front and it looks like we are going in a good way. I think our weekend here in Jerez can be different to the last few races.”
Sandro Cortese – P7
“It was a very positive start and we saw an improvement in both the base setting and the lap times between the two sessions today. The conditions were very special, very hot, but the second session was more or less the same time as the race tomorrow, so it gave us an opportunity to work on set-up in very similar conditions. We had a positive test in Misano and the updates we got from Yamaha are all working well, so I’m happy and confident for tomorrow.”
Leon Haslam – P9
“This morning wasn’t too bad but we were suffering in the same areas as Imola to get the bike to stop. This afternoon it was harder and kept losing the front. We found a better way right at the end, and even on 15 lap-old tyres I set my best lap over the session. So there were some positives but it was a tough one. It looks like it will continue hot like it was this afternoon. So that is something we need to look at, make a bit of a plan and then see where we can get to tomorrow.”
Chaz Davies – P11
“Today has been a bit tricky and we struggled a little bit with the front overloading all the time. We need to rebalance the bike to give me better feeling and speed on entry, connect the dots in the middle of the corner and keep the corner speed. Despite these problems, I’m fairly confident of improving tomorrow, it’s just that we were a bit too wide of the mark today. Jerez is a different track to Imola, and what works there doesn’t work here so we’re going to have to make some changes.”
Loris Baz – P13
“it was an up and down first day, let’s say. I’m not really happy because I’ve given my guys a lot of work to do tonight with the fast crash at the end of FP2, which definitely wasn’t in the plan, but we also need to understand why I crashed because it was a bit strange. Apart from that the day was going well; we weren’t that far from the other four Yamaha riders and we managed to improve on the set-up we finished with at the Misano test. We need to continue working in this way tomorrow and then use the race as another opportunity to increase our understanding with the bike. I’m looking forward to tomorrow already.”
World Superbike Friday Combined Times
BAUTISTA Alvaro ARUBA Racing Ducati 1’39.428
VAN DER MARK Michael Pata Yamaha Team 0.226
REA Jonathan Kawasaki Racing Team 0.304
LOWES Alex Pata Yamaha Team 0.411
SYKES Tom 66 GBR BMW Motorrad Team 0.506
MELANDRI Marco GRT Yamaha WorldSBK 0.602
CORTESE Sandro GRT Yamaha WorldSBK 0.629
RINALDI Michael Ruben BARNI Racing Team 0.862
HASLAM Leon Kawasaki Racing Team 0.911
RAZGATLIOGLU Toprak Turkish Puccetti Racing 0.976
DAVIES Chaz ARUBA Racing Ducati 1.209
TORRES Jordi Team Pedercini 1.314
BAZ Loris Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha 1.427
MERCADO Leandro 3Orelac Racing VerdNatura 1.490
REITERBERGER Markus BMW Motorrad Team 1.614
DELBIANCO Alessandro Althea Mie Racing 2.300
TAKAHASHI Yuki Moriwaki Althea Honda 2.497
BRIDEWELL Tommy Team Goeleven 2.588
KIYONARI Ryuichi Moriwaki Althea Honda 2.744
The opening day of FIM Supersport World Championship action saw plenty of action throughout the two sessions. Come the end of play on the opening day, it was Bardahl Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team duo of Federico Caricasulo and Randy Krummenacher that were on top, with Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) back in third. A brief red flag was shown earlier in the session for Glenn van Straalen, who crashed, leaving a lot of gravel on the circuit needing to be cleaned away.
It was a strong end to the day for Caricasulo, who just pipped his Swiss teammate overall by 0.048s. The duo has been battling all season, with the WorldSSP title pendulum swinging from one rider to the other. The end of day one at Jerez sees the Italian on top overall, at a track he won at from pole in 2017, whilst Krummenacher couldn’t improve his time. In third position, Jules Cluzel, who hadn’t featured at the front for the majority of the session, improved at the end of the session to consolidate his top three placing.
Fourth position belonged to Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusuta Reparto Corse) raced up the order late on, confirming his pace after his podium at Imola. Fifth place went to 2017 WorldSSP Champion Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing). The Frenchman suffered a small tumble at Turn 2 but rounded the day off in fine style. In sixth position on combined times was Austrian rider, Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing). A track at which he has very little experience on, Gradinger has had a strong start to the weekend.
Seventh position saw a solid start to proceedings for Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), as the Japanese rider goes in search of his first career podium. Behind him, the first of the home-heroes, Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing), who was just 0.3s off of a top three slot, whilst in ninth, Britain’s Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing) was reacquainting himself to the Jerez circuit. Tenth position went to Smith’s teammate, Ayrton Badovini.
A brief red flag was brought out after a crash for Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) at the penultimate corner, with gravel on the circuit as a consequence. His fellow countryman, Jaimie van Sikkelerus, made a return to action after his surgery between rounds. They finished 18th and 25th respectively.
World Supersport Friday Combined Times
De Rosa 1m43.136
Quero Martinez 1m44.242
Van Straalen 1m45.195
Van Sikkelerus 1m46.980
It was an exciting opening day for the WorldSSP300 Championship, as after the opening two Free Practice sessions, lap times were already under the existing lap records for the class at Jerez. Heading the timesheets on day one, championship leader Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team), aiming to keep his 100% record after the opening rounds of the season. Marc Garcia (DS Junior Team) and Galang Hendra Pratama (Semakin Di Depan Biblion Motoxracing) were second and third respectively.
Gonzalez set about his Friday looking to build on his positive start to the season, with the Spaniard coming to the circuit as championship leader and favourite for a home win. Heading the timesheets, he looks set to enjoy another great weekend. It was a positive start for Marc Garcia, who returns to the scene of his 2017 title win. The Spaniard made it a 1-2 for home-heroes, whilst Galang Hendra Pratama was flying the Indonesian flag high in third.
In fourth position, Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) had a strong session and was in fourth place on the combined sheets. The Australian’s time was 0.779s from the top time but with plenty more track action, expect him to be strong throughout the remainder of the weekend. Fellow Australians Tom Bramich and Jack Hyde were 37th and 44th respectively.
Fifth position was the first of the Group B riders, with Victor Steeman (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team), with Mika Perez (Scuderia Maranga Racing) in sixth.
Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) was only ninth in Group A in FP2, subsequently leaving her outside of the top ten overall, whilst Scott Deroue (Kawasaki Motoport) was also languishing down the order; both riders with work to do ahead of Saturday and Sunday.