The 2019 FIM World Supersport 300 Championship travelled to Italy for round three at the Pirelli Italian Round, May 10-12.
Phillip Island Circuit backed Tom Bramich (Carl Cox-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) was eager to come back fighting following a disappointing DNF in round two.
However, the challenges of a new track and strong competition saw the 22-year-old Aussie struggle.
“Imola has been a character-building weekend for me, where the results and goals didn’t come to fruition”
With more than 50 riders on the 2019 WorldSSP300 grid, practice and qualifying sessions are split into Group A and Group B, with the top 30 from the two groups qualifying for Sunday’s race. For all riders who qualify outside of the top 30, they are granted one final opportunity to line up on the grid with a ‘last chance’ race on Saturday afternoon, and the top six over the line will compete in Sunday’s main race.
Bramich, in Group B started his weekend with the main goal to get familiar with the track.
“The Free Practice sessions were good, with no changes to the bike and we were just focusing on the track and a little bit on gearing. I found it difficult to put a complete lap together at this track, with my ideal sectors being up to 2.5 seconds faster than my actual lap time”
Ending the practice sessions in 21st overall, Bramich was challenged by the European riders who were far more familiar with the Italian track.
“The European riders are really strong on this track especially, with most of the front runners doing at least 3 years of WorldSSP300 here as well as other championships”
An unfortunate crash in qualifying had the Aussie on the back-foot, requiring him to head into the last chance qualifying race on Saturday afternoon. Starting from 14th position, Bramich had a lot of work ahead of him to make it into the top six.
“I gave the last chance race my all, and I finished 10th after making a mistake and losing touch with the front group”
Missing out on lining up for Sunday’s main race, a disappointed Bramich remained upbeat.
“I’m more positive and motivated than ever, I know that the team and I have the potential we just need to trust the process. It’s a steep learning curve but I’m learning more than I could have ever imagined and it’ll only make me a stronger rider”
The main WorldSSP300 was eventually cancelled along with WorldSBK race two following serve rain at Imola.
The 2019 FIM World Supersport 300 Championship now heads to Jerez for the Acerbis Spanish Round, June 7-9.
Stay up to date with WorldSSP300 here www.worldsbk.com