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 AGUSTA 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.
#ESPWorldSBK WorldSSP at Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto: Friday
1. Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) 1’41.948
2. Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) 1’41.996
3. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) 1’42.942
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