CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Niki Tuuli narrowly missed out on automatic entry to Tissot Superpole 2 today at Philip Island and will be taking a step by step approach to move through in qualifying tomorrow.
The opening day of practice at round one was affected by wet then drying track conditions with only two riders improving on their lap times in the afternoon session leaving Tuuli with it all to play for on Saturday.
Tuuli said: “It was quite a difficult day today. After the big crash in testing I struggled to find the right feeling to ride. I have to ride smoother, I tried to push too much too fast. I just have to put it in my mind that I have to just go step by step. I’ll get a good night’s sleep and tomorrow is a new day.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “It was wet today but then it did dry. I agree with Niki, he is trying too hard to make it happen, he knows that and we know that but we are a team that works with its riders to help them achieve the maximum of their potential. Niki needs to try to relax and smooth off. He did have a big off on Tuesday and it was a big off but we had a good feeling in the rain and it is due to rain tomorrow. First we need to get into SP2 and then do the best we can to challenge for a place on the first two rows of the grid. If we can’t win on Sunday we need to get as many points as possible. Last year we didn’t score in the first two rounds but we finished 3rd in the Championship and could have still won it. It’s a long hard year, there’s a lot of talented riders and teams out there, we know that and it’s all to play for.”
World Supersport – Free Practices Combined Results
1 L. Mahias 1’33.103
2 R. Krummenacher +0.400
3 S. Cortese ++0.460
4 K. Sofuoglu +0.473
5 F. Caricasulo +0.724
6 R. De Rosa +0.917
7 A. West +1.051
8 J. Cluzel +1.116
9 L. Stapleford +1.122
10 K. Smith +1.343
11 N. Tuuli CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +1.792