WORLDSSP: Manzi takes first Pole Position of the year in drama filled Tissot Superpole
The first Superpole session has been run and it was Stefano Manzi [Ten Kate Racing Yamaha] who took out the first Pole Position for the 2023 FIM Supersport World Championship.
The 20-minute WorldSSP Tissot Superpole session was filled with drama, with rain falling in all sectors in the opening half of the session, meaning riders had to put it all on the line in the final 5 minutes.
Track position proved crucial to a good Superpole result, and following from his fine form yesterday it was Stefano Manzi who took out his very first Pole Position in World Supersport; a great start to his first season with the Ten Kate Yamaha team.
Manzi brought it home to P1 with a last lap dash to the line with a 1:32.814. Speaking on the podium, Manzi said he wasn’t expecting to be fast like this.
Yeah I am very happy about that, I didn’t expect it, I was expecting to be fast but not like this. This morning was a bit difficult with conditions to start, it was dry then rain and then dry again. In the end we only had 20 minutes, and it wasn’t easy to find a spot to push for a time but in the end it was very good for me.”
Starting the Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round from second on the grid will be the late charging Can Oncu [Kawasaki Puccetti Racing] who set his fastest time of 1:33.058, +0.244 from Manzi. Oncu managed to sneak in one more lap before the chequered flag came out, and despite a red Sector 1 coming up on the timing screens, the Kawasaki rider became unstuck into Sector 2 having to a last minute dive up the inside of yesterday’s FP3 3rd placegetter Nicholas Spinelli.
Despite losing time in Sector 2 and Sector 3, Oncu’s time set on the previous lap was fast enough to secure his spot on the front row of the grid in second place.
“Yesterday we had some problems so we worked very hard for this and we found some sort of change for today. I am very happy. I want to say thanks to Kawasaki, they did a very good job and made a very good bike for me. I will try for podiums, but my dream is to win this weekend.”
Yari Montella [Barni Spark Racing Team] put in a late charge on his final lap the Superpole session, rounding out your front row of the grid for the first FIM World Supersport race of the 2023 season.
It was late heartache for Nicolo Bulega [Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team] who was untouchable during the Official Test earlier this week. Bulega was only just pipped for a front row start by 0.014 of a second from Montella. Bulega will be starting this weekend from P4 on the grid.
A hard session for our solo Aussie rider on the WorldSSP grid this year, Oli Bayliss [D34G Racing]. Bayliss will start this weekend’s two races from P13 on the grid.