Press releases from some of the teams and the series organizers after the first day of practice at Portimao:
#PRTWorldSBK– Day 1
ACERBIS Portuguese Round Day 1 goes to Jonathan Rea
The four-time WorldSBK champion was top on the opening day of Portimao action, whilst Alvaro Bautista was able to top FP2
The 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship concludes day one of action at the Portimao circuit in Portugal, with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) ending the day on top. The Northern Irishman’s metronomic consistency showed him to have good pace after the opening day, although championship rival Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was right in behind him. The weekend is shaping up nicely, with plenty more to come as the weekend develops.
The Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK duo of Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam had contrasting days, as Rea topped the opening day of action with Haslam in sixth. Rea was second after FP2 but with the times not improving too much, Rea topped the day overall. Having won the last seven races at Portimao, he has a target on his back this weekend in order to stop his stranglehold on both the championship and the circuit. Leon Haslam was languishing down field in FP2, only able to finish in 12th but remained sixth overall.
Despite looking to take it easy, Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) finished day one in second position, making an impressive racing debut at the Algarve International Circuit. The Spaniard topped FP2 but due to the lack of improvement, remained second on the combined times. Bautista was one of the few riders to get under his lap time from the test two weeks previous. Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) wasn’t straight up at the front like he was at Laguna Seca, finishing tenth overall at the end of the opening day and the only rider in the top ten who was able to go quicker in FP2.
Third position was held by Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team), having topped the test at Portimao in August. The British rider, who won’t remain at the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team for 2020, proved a point and was just 0.120s adrift of top slot which was occupied by Jonathan Rea. Lowes looks on course for one of his best weekends at Portimao, a track he has historically struggled at. Teammate Michael van der Mark was also looking strong, finishing the day in fifth place to make it two Yamahas inside the top five.
Leading the Independent charge and well inside the top four, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) has continued his form from Laguna Seca and Donington Park. The 22-year-old has been a prominent figure across testing at Portimao and during the Acerbis Portuguese Round. Other Independent riders inside the top ten include Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) who was eighth overall as well as in FP2 and fellow Yamaha rider, Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK), in ninth on combined times, although he was fastest in the final sector during FP2.
Without a ride so far for 2020, Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) quietly reminded everyone of his capabilities with a sturdy seventh place overall and just over half-a-second off the top time set by Jonathan Rea. Reiterberger was just under three tenths clear of his teammate Tom Sykes, who crashed in FP1 earlier on. The 2013 WorldSBK champion was one of just five riders who improved their times in FP2, although he was still only 12th.
Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team) suffered an unfortunate crash at Turn 14 but was OK. Former Portimao winner Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) was only 13th but just over a second from the top, whilst best Honda honours went to Takumi Takahashi (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) in 17th.
Rea Leads Early Portimao WorldSBK Pace
KRT rider Jonathan Rea finished the first day of action at Portimao in the leading position after the completion of the first two free practice sessions at the 4.592km long circuit in Portugal. His team-mate Leon Haslam was overall sixth today.
With the ambient temperatures rising in the second 50-minute session of the day the track temperatures also climbed, meaning the best times for all but one of the riders inside the top ten were set in the morning session.
In the afternoon Rea finished second in FP2 but still fastest of all due to his morning best. Haslam experienced some issues in FP2 and was 12th, but ultimately inside the top six places in the combined rankings on the return to competitive action for all in WorldSBK. Just 0.857 seconds separated the top 12 riders today.
After the first two 50-minute sessions Rea and Haslam have now gone a long way in their pre-race preparations. Now short FP3 session will take place on Saturday morning, followed by Tissot Superpole qualifying and then Race One, over 20-laps on Saturday afternoon.
Each KRT rider was able to refer to data from their experiences at the official Portimao test sessions, which took place just two weeks before today’s track action.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “This morning the track was a little bit green and the kerbs were a little bit slippery, but the track has now ‘rubbered-in’. I feel we have improved the bike a little bit from the tests we did recently, but we can still improve a little bit more for tomorrow. We have just a few areas to improve and this morning we worked on the different rear tyre options we have for the race. This afternoon I worked on finding a rhythm and putting some laps on a tyre. The consistency looked very good. For day one, I feel quite good with the bike.”
Leon Haslam, stated: “This morning was positive, this afternoon we had a small issue. Always it is very different here from the morning to the afternoon, because of the temperature change. But I feel confident because there is always a big battle here and it is usually a difficult race. Overall, the result this afternoon was not so good for the lap times but the feeling is still strong for the race tomorrow.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) went into fourth place after day one in Portugal and was the top independent rider as a result of his early pace. He also tested at Portimao recently and is now attempting to win his first WorldSBK race, having already earned several podiums this season.
Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) found the feel from the track much changed from the recent test and was ranked 15th, as he worked to improve his machine settings and balance. Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was 16th fastest today.
World Superbike in Portugal: second and tenth place respectively for Álvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) on the opening day of free practice at the Autodromo do Algarve
At the end of the first two free practice sessions for the Portuguese Round of the Superbike World Championship, scheduled to take place this weekend at the Algarve circuit, both Aruba.it Racing - Ducati riders were classified inside the top 10, with Bautista in second place and Davies in tenth.
Bautista, second in the morning’s FP1 session behind his rival Rea (Kawasaki), topped the timesheets in the second session, but as the temperatures were higher in the afternoon, he was unable to further improve on the time of 1’42.009 set in the morning, and had to settle for second in the combined standings.
Davies, eleventh in the morning, was instead one of the few riders to improve in FP2 (fifth quickest) and he finished the day in tenth place with a best lap of 1’42.649.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #19) – 2nd (1’42.009)
“Today was a very positive day because, as I had problems with my shoulder in the tests two weeks ago, it was important to verify my physical condition and luckily everything went OK as the pain was a lot less. In the afternoon we did more laps than in the morning because it was important to work on the setup and tyre choice in the hot conditions that for sure we will also find in the race. I’m optimistic, I’ve got a good feeling with my Panigale V4 R and physically I feel quite good.”
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 10th (1’42.649)
“Today all in all it wasn’t bad, we got back into the swing of things and lapped with a good pace. But it seems like the grip is definitely down compared to the test and the track is slower because people were doing better lap times two weeks ago. Today we just tried to focus on the set-up details for these conditions. We’ve got some ideas for tomorrow to improve the stability of the bike and the grip with the high track surface temperature.”
Top Three for Pata Yamaha's Lowes on Opening Day in Portimão
It was Alex Lowes who led the Yamaha charge on the opening day in Portugal, as the FIM Superbike World Championship exploded back into action at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão. The Pata Yamaha WorldSBK rider ended the day third fastest with his time from this morning's first free practice, as rising track temperatures and reduced grip saw only one of the top ten riders improve during this afternoon's second 50-minute session.
Michael van der Mark trailed his Pata Yamaha teammate by just two-tenths to secure fifth place on the timesheet on the opening day, again with a fastest lap posted during the cooler conditions of FP1 this morning.
The two Pata Yamaha riders declared themselves satisfied with their pace on the opening day, with both confident of further improvements ahead of WorldSBK Race 1 tomorrow afternoon.
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK rider, Sandro Cortese, showed that he is now fully recovered from the shoulder injury that hampered him in the previous two rounds. The reigning Supersport World Champion focused on tyre testing on the opening day, which he finished in seventh position, after posting almost identical lap times in both practice sessions.
It proved a difficult opening day once again for Marco Melandri, who is still struggling to find a set-up on his GRT Yamaha YZF-R1 to suit his riding style. The veteran Italian and his crew opted for a different direction with set-up here in Portimão but were left frustrated when the expected improvements failed to materialise. Melandri will focus tomorrow on increasing his confidence in the front, in a bid to rediscover his form from earlier in the season.
Loris Baz, who arrived in Portimão straight from the Pre-Bol d'Or test at the Circuit Paul Ricard, focused on race set-up and tyre strategy in free practice today, including a long race run when the track temperature was at its highest this afternoon. The Frenchman was happy with his pace in race trim but will be looking to shave a few tenths of his lap time on new tyres ahead of qualifying tomorrow.
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK - P3 - 1'42.051
"It's always the same here in Portimão, with the track conditions changing as the temperature goes up. But today was the best I've felt here in the hotter conditions, so it was a good second practice session. We tried something right at the end that didn't quite work as we were expecting, but it's been really positive with plenty of laps on used tyres. There are still a couple of areas in which I'd like to improve, such as on corner exit where I need to be a bit smoother when the track temperature is higher and the surface is a little bit greasy. We'll have a look through the data tonight to see if we can find some improvements, but I'm happy to be back on the bike and looking forward to tomorrow."
Michael van der Mark
Pata Yamaha WorldSBK - P5 - 1'42.277
"It's been a solid opening day here in Portugal. The first session this morning was a good one for us, even if the track didn't feel the same as it did at the test here last month. But that's typical Portimão and not unexpected. I struggled a little bit with the front feeling on the bike, so it's also been challenging, especially this afternoon with the increase in track temperature. We're still working to improve our pace in the heat, but the best set-up for this is proving a little elusive at the moment. But we're definitely going in the right direction because the feeling with the bike improved at the end this afternoon. We have a few ideas to try tomorrow, but we'll be ready to race."
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK - P9 - 1'42.585
"I had a positive feeling today. We tried many things on the bike, including some new tyres from Pirelli that we weren't able to try at the test here. As a result, I think we're pretty much settled on the race tyre, which means we can focus on some of the smaller details in the final free practice tomorrow. I'm quite happy, especially with the feeling in the hotter conditions this afternoon. With a little less grip available I'm able to control the bike with the sliding and I was able to make exactly the same lap time this afternoon as I did this morning, which is positive. Overall I feel much better than at the previous two rounds and I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow."
GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK - P13 - 1'42.981
"Today was not such an easy one for me. At the moment it seems that the more we try to improve the worse things get. Here we are trying a different direction with the set-up of the bike, but it looks like even this Is not working for my riding style. It's difficult because we're working hard, but we're not seeing any results. Tomorrow I will continue trying to build my confidence in the bike, which is what I need to be able to brake how I want and carry more speed into the corner. The issue is mostly the feeling with the front, but the bike is also moving a lot underneath me and is very aggressive, so this is where we need to focus our efforts."
Ten Kate Yamaha Supported WorldSBK - P8 - 1'42.575
"I think the track here in Portimão is a bit strange for everyone after the test; we expected to have the same sensation and it's a bit different but not too bad. We worked a lot today on our race pace and tyre conservation for the race, including a long run this afternoon in the hotter conditions. Like always here in Portimão, you need to work to have the best bike possible at the end of the race and, at the moment, we're not so far off where we need to be. Tomorrow we need to find a few tenths on a new tyre, but I'm happy with the pace we've shown today, especially on the long run."
HOT conditions for the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team on the opening day of Round 10 in Portimão.
Autódromo Internacional do Algarve
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK’s Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger kicked of this weekend Acerbis Portuguese Round following FP1 and FP2 at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.
This morning FP1 session got under way with track temperatures of around 37°C. Markus Reiterberger eager to return to the action managed to comfortably put his BMW S 1000 RR into P7, just +0.500 behind championship leader Jonathan Rea. Tom Sykes unfortunately didn’t get his weekend of how we would have hoped following a small crash at T14 – he would end the session in P12.
As the day progressed into the afternoon the track temperature increased to 46°C, which saw only 5 riders out the 20 improve on their FP1 time. Tom Sykes despite his difficult FP1 managed to get some good solid lap times under his belt, whilst gaining data and more crucially a realistic race simulation in the likely hot conditions tomorrow. Markus Reiterberger backed up his good performance from this morning as he again found himself in the top 10, P7 on overall times.
"A good day for Markus, he's been comfortably in the top 10 all day and tried a few different set ups with the bike throughout FP1 and FP2 which puts him in a good position for tomorrow. Tom unfortunately had a tip off during this mornings FP1 which set us back some time however, managed to get some data in FP2 which again will bode well for the hot conditions in tomorrows race.”
"I think P12 is not where we are realistically, that result was from this morning where we didn’t push and obviously the conditions were better. This afternoon in race conditions I was very happy with the changes we made to the BMW S 1000 RR and gained some good information, so overall I’m feeling quite comfortable and confident in those hot conditions which for me is the real preparations for the race tomorrow."
"Today was a good day, overall P7 which is not so bad and just only +0.500 behind the front guys. This morning I enjoyed my riding and tested out the tyres which gave us a good direction to work in. This afternoon it was really hot which made It difficult continue the same lap times as this morning so we focused on getting the balance of the bike and the tyre wear. Tomorrow we will try to work on the brake stability but for sure I will be again pushing for the top 10."
Takumi Takahashi and Ryuichi Kiyonari begin preparation for tomorrow’s first race
A fairly hot and sunny day saw Moriwaki Althea Honda’s Takumi Takahashi and Ryuichi Kiyonari begin to prepare for tomorrow’s first race day making up the Portuguese WorldSBK weekend.
The Japanese pair spent the day working on their bikes’ setup, trying to find a solution to suit the track’s low level of grip.
Takumi set his personal fastest time during the morning’s session, a 1’44.062 (P17), as did Ryuichi with 1’44.574 (P18), but neither was able to improve on those references later in the day, also due to the afternoon’s higher temperature which had an even greater effect in terms of lack of grip.
Tomorrow’s Free Practice 3 will start at 09:00 local time followed by the Superpole qualifying session, set to get underway at 11:00, and then Race1 at 14:00.
Takumi Takahashi 13
“Today we experienced quite different, and more demanding, track conditions with respect to what we saw during testing here a fortnight ago, probably due to the higher temperatures. We worked mainly on suspension settings, looking for more grip, but we were not able to improve over the two sessions. Anyway, we have gathered a lot of information and tomorrow we will try a different direction”.
Ryuichi Kiyonari 23
“It’s a pity that this afternoon we were not able to improve on our performance because this morning we started in a positive way, having tested here at the end of August, and I felt good on the bike. We tried to move forward in the afternoon, but I think we took the wrong direction and the high temperature also did not help. Anyway, I think it’s always worth a try. Tomorrow we’ll go back to a set up more similar to what we used in testing, but with some new ideas we have following today’s experience”.
Tough first practice for Delbianco at Portimao
Portimao (Portugal), Friday 6 September 2019
The Althea MIE Racing team and rider Alessandro Delbianco are hard at work at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal, where they have completed the first free practice sessions making up round ten of the 2019 Superbike World Championship.
During the morning’s first free practice, the Italian rider began by focusing on bike set-up along with his technicians. By the session’s end, and after completing 16 laps, Alessandro had set a fastest time of 1’45.881.
Later in the day, and in warmer temperatures, Delbianco was able to lower his time by almost half a second despite a crash 20 minutes before the session’s end, to close in 20th place with a best of 1’45.434.
“As I imagined, I'm in for a tough challenge at Portimao this weekend. This morning, I lost a little time before getting down to the real work on the bike and then this afternoon, due to a lack of feeling, I had a small crash which compromised the work. So I’m not very happy with how this first day has gone but I’m sure I’ll be able to take a step forward tomorrow.”
Ben Spies Returns to Portimão on Tenth Anniversary of his World Title
Ben Spies will return this weekend to the scene of his greatest triumph, as Yamaha welcome the former FIM Superbike World Champion as a special guest for this weekend's WorldSBK round at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão, Portugal.
It was at the Portimão circuit that Spies clinched the FIM Superbike World Championship for Yamaha in 2009. The American returns to the track this weekend, to mark the tenth anniversary of his world title with a parade lap ahead of WorldSBK race 2 on Sunday, aboard the 2020 variant of the Yamaha YZF-R1 on which he won the championship a decade ago.
Having dominated the AMA Superbike Championship, with three consecutive titles in what was then one of the most fiercely contested domestic championships in the world, Spies made the move to WorldSBK for the 2009 season, to campaign the all-new YZF-R1 for the Yamaha factory team.
A direct descendant of the 2004 M1 Grand Prix machine on which Valentino Rossi secured Yamaha their first MotoGP World Championship title in the modern four-stroke era, the revolutionary 2009 YZF-R1 and WorldSBK rookie Spies were to prove a potent combination.
Racing at tracks he'd never seen previously and against vastly more experienced rivals, Spies immediately made his mark on the world stage aboard the YZF-R1. Having qualified on pole position for the first round of the season at Phillip Island, Spies went on to secure victory in the second race in Australia to become the first American to win in WorldSBK since 2002.
The Texan backed this up by winning both races from pole position at the next round in Qatar and, as a result, was immediately touted as one of the favourites for the 2009 WorldSBK title, despite his relative lack of experience on the world stage.
The American newcomer certainly lived up to expectations, racking up 17 podium finishes over the course of his rookie season, including 14 wins in the 28 races over which the 2009 WorldSBK Championship was contested.
A specialist when it came to the high pressure Superpole shootout, Spies qualified on pole position for all but three of the 14 WorldSBK rounds that season, a record that still stands to this day.
Spies' last WorldSBK win came in Race 1 at Portimão, which in 2009 was the venue for the final round of the season. The victory meant that the Yamaha rider lined up for the final race of the season with a 15-point advantage over Noriyuki Haga at the top of the championship standings. An intelligent ride to fifth place in the final race was enough for Spies to clinch the title by six points and move to MotoGP the following season as the reigning Superbike World Champion.
No American has been crowned as FIM Superbike World Champion since Spies and the dominance with which he won the title in his debut year was even recognised by the U.S. House of Representatives, with Congressman Louie Gohmert stating from the floor "Ben Spies is to be congratulated upon his winning the 2009 FIM Superbike World Championship. He has no doubt blazed a trail for future successes with his steady hand, nerves of steel, and balance like nowhere found here in the House of Representatives."
Although forced to retire from racing due to injury at the end of the 2013 season, Spies continues to ride on both road and dirt, with Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF450F machines taking pride of place in his garage.
2009 Superbike World Champion
"I'm really excited to come back to Portugal on the 10th anniversary of my winning the World Championship title with Yamaha. In 2009 we had the odds stacked against us for sure but the team I had behind me was incredible and the WorldSBK paddock was one to remember."
WorldSSP: Caricasulo perfects Portimao to lead Krummenacher after day one
The teammate battled in the closing stages, setting the stage for a titanic duel for the rest of the Acerbis Portuguese Round!
A greasy track surface at the Algarve International Circuit meant that there was very little in terms of improvements in the World Supersport FP2. However, there was plenty of intrigue regarding how Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) would cope with his injury after a big FP1 crash. The Swiss rider was toppled overall, with teammate Federico Caricasulo slamming in a late time to end the day on top.
Federico Caricasulo top in FP2 and overall, as he blasted in a lap time in the closing stages of the session to go ahead of his teammate. Krummenacher’s crash resulted in left knee injuries, meaning that he took it steady in FP2 and ran for most of the session in fifth place. In the final ten minutes, Krummenacher improved his time but in the end, it was only good enough for second. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) elevated himself to second in the session but was third overall. It was Yamahas locking out the top three positions.
However, it was Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing) who took fourth position on the overall combined session times, as the former WorldSSP race winner looked to close the gap further at a track Kawasaki have always gone well at. Fifth place belonged to Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing), with both him and Badovini improving in the latter stages of the session, pushing former WorldSSP champion Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) down into sixth place.
Further back, seventh position was in the capable hands of Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse), who had a less eventful outing in the afternoon, following technical problems in the morning. 2019 WorldSSP revelation Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was in eighth place and flying the Japanese flag well, whilst completing the top ten were fellow Kawasaki rider Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing) and Frenchman, Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA).
The top Honda was Jules Danilo (CIA Landlord Insurance), fractionally missing out on the top ten in 11th. Wildcard rider Miquel Pons (H43 Team NOBBY TALASUR-BLUMAQ) was a respectable 14th, whereas Dani Valle (MS Racing) debuted in World Supersport with 18th.
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda confident ahead of Superpole in Portugal
Posted on 6th September 2019
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Jules Danilo ended day one of the Acerbis Portuguese round of the 2019 FIM Supersport World Championship top Honda rider, narrowly missing out on the top ten in eleventh position.
Despite temperatures increasingly markedly between sessions at the Portuguese circuit, the young French rider was hoping to improve on his morning lap time and position but slid off at turn 8 on his first lap on the new tyre, slipping him from tenth to eleventh on the combined timesheets.
Danilo said: “It was a bit of an unfortunate end to the day but I think we worked strongly today. I feel confident on the bike, everything is pretty clear for tomorrow. I think I confirmed this afternoon that I prefer the B tyre so I feel confident on the bike it was just a bit unfortunate because I crashed on the out lap without even pushing really, I’m not sure why. Overall I think we’ll have a solid day tomorrow also I’m doing the laps on my own so I’m consistent and I’m happy with the package, the bike is working really well so let’s put it all together tomorrow.”
Teammate Peter Sebestyen ended the first day of Free Practice action in thirteenth position overall after struggling with front feeling on the greasy track surface at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.
Sebestyen said: “I didn’t have any goals for today about my position, of course I wanted to be in the top ten and I wanted to do a 46s. It was impossible for me, I didn’t have any good feeling with the front. We are working on it, the rear grip seems ok so if we could find something to make the front better and to have more confidence with it I think I could do a better lap time. I did a lot of laps, that was one of the goals for today and now I understand the bike more so I think we can improve for tomorrow.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “I’m disappointed for Peter not to improve this afternoon after a promising first session. He looked good after a long layoff the bike but he’ll discuss everything and between him, Andy and George they’ll do a good job and put him in a good position for tomorrow. We need to look for a good FP3 and a good qualifying.”
“Tenth fastest was good for Jules this morning, an improvement in lap time again. This afternoon he was half a second slower and then missed the opportunity to improve when he had the small crash. At the moment he is not quite sure why he crashed so he’ll analyse the data with Stu. There was very little damage to the bike so we’ll look for a strong FP3 from both riders in the morning and look for the best performance in qualifying to challenge in the top nine for the first 3 rows.”
WorldSSP300: Scott Deroue dominates day one at Portimao
With the championship up for grabs this weekend, Scott Deroue has come out fighting to make sure his title desires aren’t over
With temperatures increasing in the afternoon, time Improvements for the WorldSSP300 class weren’t guaranteed, as various riders ended the day out of position and with work to do ahead of the remainder of the Acerbis Portuguese Round. Not improving on his morning time, Scott Deroue’s (Kawasaki MOTOPORT) effort would see him comfortably clear of the chasing pack going into Saturday. Is his championship challenge coming back to life?
At the head of the field on combined times, Scott Deroue made great progress as he is keen to keep his championship hopes alive. The Dutchman set the best time in FP1B and was good enough to place him top overall. With less than 10 minutes to go in FP2B, Andy Verdoïa (BCD Yamaha MS Racing) improved to go second overall. In third position was championship leader Manuel Gonzalez, who can mathematically win the title this weekend. He was one of a handful of riders to improve in FP2B.
Galang Hendra Pratama (Semakin Di Depan Biblion Motoxracing) was strong in fourth, although he will have a 12-place grid penalty on Saturday after his Tissot Superpole, should he make it through in the top 30. Completing the top five was Frenchman Hugo De Cancellis (Team Trasimeno Yamaha), as he improved late in the session. Ukrainian rider Nick Kalinin (Nutec – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki), was in sixth place, looking to achieve his country’s first back-to-back podiums in WorldSSP300.
Having a strong first day in Portugal was Italian youngster Filippo Rovelli (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team), as he goes in search of his first points of the season. He was marginally ahead of reigning WorldSSP300 champion Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300). Completing the top ten were Borja Sanchez (Scuderia Maranga Racing) and Victor Steeman (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team) – who set an identical lap time Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project), although the Italian’s was done in the morning.