WorldSSP OFFICIAL TEST: Bulega takes a clean sweep over two days, Bayliss remains in fighting form
If the World Supersport Official Test is anything to go by, the ensuing pack will be fighting to keep with Nicolo Bulega [Aruba.It Racing – Ducati] who didn’t put a foot wrong throughout the two-day test at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
Bulega improved his times each session to complete 130 laps in total, and came out fighting in the final minutes of today, stopping the clock at 1:32.781.
Stefano Manzi [Ten Kate Racing Yamaha] was the only rider to really put in a charge against the strong pace of Bulega in the final Free Practice session this afternoon. Manzi led majority of the 1h50m session with his time of 1:32.227, but nothing could stop Bulega who put in his late time attack with 18 minutes remaining, storming his way into the lead.
Flying the flag for Kawasaki was Turkish rider Can Oncu [Kawasaki Puccetti Racing], who continued to impress across both days of testing, but needs to find six-tenths to put up a fight against Bulega as they head into Round 1. Can Oncu put in his fastest time this morning for their third hit out on track, with a 1:33.406, but has a sea of Ducati’s in hot pursuit (four of them to be exact!).
While he finished the two-day test +0.724s behind Bulega, Frederico Caricasulo [Althea Racing Team] can’t be looked over. Caricasulo completed the least number of laps amongst the top eight riders, yet vastly improved his times between this morning to this afternoon dropping half a second.
A positive day in the books for the Phillip Island WorldSSP Race 1 winner in 2022, Yari Montella [Barni Spark Racing Team], followed by Orelac Racing Verdnatura rider Raffaele De Rosa.
Following close behind and certainly hot in podium contention, Oli Bayliss [D34G Racing] rounded out the Official Test combined times in seventh, but had a fair go in leading the opening final session of today. Bayliss’ impressive form during the Official Test at Phillip Island certainly has everyone asking… Can Bayliss put up a fight against the untouchable Bulega and take his debut podium in front of his home crowd this weekend?