Okubo and Mulhauser continue to impress at Aragon

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Hikari Okubo ended Free Practice One at Motorland Aragon in a career best third position.  Hikari was one of only a handful of riders who braved the wet Free Practice Two in the afternoon and, with no improvement in lap times due to the conditions he remains third on the time sheet going into Superpole 2 tomorrow.  Hikari said: “I am happy with 3rd place in FP1, this is my best position.  I want to try some changes to the bike for FP3 tomorrow because I want to be in the top 6 in the race again.  I am so happy today.”

Teammate Robin Mulhauser also achieved a World Supersport career best ending the first day of practice in tenth place with automatic entry to SP2 tomorrow afternoon.  He said: “I feel happy about SP2 but I am disappointed as I wanted to fight a bit more, it is the easiest way to get to SP2 and I am sure I can go much faster.  Top ten is good for tomorrow, we will see but I want to do even better than this.”

Jules Cluzel also did not go out in the wet afternoon FP2 and will challenge for top two in Superpole 1 tomorrow to ensure he makes the best qualifying position for the race on Sunday.

Hiromichi Kunikawa sat out the deluged afternoon session of his debut with CIA Landlord Insurance Honda ending the day in 30th place.

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster said: “A superb job by Hikari and his crew in FP1.  Third is his best in any session so far and he continues to improve in his second WSS season.  He is stronger now from his injury and is in great shape going into SP2 tomorrow.   Credit also to Robin and his team in his third race with CIA Landlord Insurance Honda, great job.  Jules was right there all session and with 13 minutes to go we made a setting change without changing tyres to confirm it.  He went out and he didn’t see the board to pit for a new tyre so we got caught out and he’s 12th fastest.  It’s not ideal but he has the pace to challenge for the win.   We need to look at Jules being fastest in SP1 and getting 3 riders in SP2.  Hiromichi improved throughout the session and he is working well with the team.  It is a shame he lost a session for the weather but we need to look at getting him as far up the grid as possible for the race on Sunday.”

Free Practices Combined Results

  1. P. Jacobsen 1’54.751
  2. K. Smith +0.450
  3. H. Okubo CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +0.753
  4. S. Morais +0.848
  5. C. Gamarino +0.869
  6. K. Sofuoglu +0.925
  7. N. Tuuli +1.027
  8. G. Rea +1.102
  9. A. Zaccone +1.164
  10. R. Mulhauser CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +1.335
  1. J. Cluzel CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +1.433
  1. H. Kunikawa CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +4.449