CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Jules Cluzel claimed fourth place and automatic entry into Superpole 2 in a tightly packed top five in this afternoon’s World Supersport Free Practice 2 at Misano. The Frenchman displayed a really good race pace, lapping consistently in the 39s by the end of the afternoon session.
Jules said: “It was a good day because we kept constant with position and gaps. We didn’t go fast for just one lap. We tried some stuff at the beginning of the afternoon that didn’t really work then we tried something else that worked so we have good points that we proved this afternoon. The really good thing is race distance and pace. I am not really able right now to do a really fast lap with the new tyre, maybe tomorrow we will improve. I am faster after eight laps and that is good for the race so I can say I am happy with today.”
Hikari Okubo narrowly missed out on entry to Superpole 2 with 11th place and is looking in great shape to rectify that in Superpole 1 tomorrow.
Robin Mulhauser had a frustrating day with three crashes and was unable to fulfil his potential ending the day in 25th position.
Hiromichi Kunikawa also took a couple of falls which cost him valuable track time and momentum. The Japanese rider finished the day in 34th place.
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster said: “Jules is in a very good position in fourth. We are very confident going into qualifying tomorrow and looking in good shape for the race on Sunday so I’m happy with that. Hikari just missed out on SP2 so he will fight in SP1 tomorrow and he has a very good chance. We need to consider our tyre usage to have tyre for SP2 in the event he does go through. His crew chief, Kor has discussed some small improvements to find a little bit more to get him inside the top ten and qualifying in the best possible position. Robin started well but now he has crashed twice, three times including coming in to the pits which is certainly not ideal. He needs to calm down and refocus. He should be a second faster than he is and he should be challenging well inside the points. He needs to work with his crew and look to improve for SP1 tomorrow. Hiromichi is improving but the time lost to crashes makes it difficult to progress. We will see if we can improve for FP3 and just keep learning and be more consistent for the best possible result for him in the race on Sunday.”
Free Practices Combined Results
1 K. Sofuoglu 1’39.102
2 G. Rea +0.156
3 P. Jacobsen +0.205
4 J. Cluzel CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +0.211
5 F. Caricasulo +0.274
6 C. Gamarino +0.301
7 L. Stapleford +0.363
8 A. Bassani +0.405
9 L. Mahias +0.422
10 A. West +0.442
11 H. Okubo CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +0.572
25 R. Mulhauser CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +1.902
34 H. Kunikawa CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +4.097