His first automatic entry to Superpole 2 of 2018 came Niki Tuuli’s way in today’s World Supersport Free Practice in Holland. The Finnish rider rounded off the top ten on the combined time sheets at Assen and will challenge for the top spots on the grid in qualifying tomorrow.
Tuuli said: “Finally we get straight to SP2. This morning my riding felt ok, it felt like I could go faster but in Free Practice 2 my feeling wasn’t that good and my riding wasn’t even close to what it has to be. It was really difficult to set the time, I was lucky but I still need to find something for tomorrow. We just need to focus on the right thing.”
Teammate Andrew Irwin was unable to improve his lap time in the afternoon session despite a promising start in the morning and ended the opening day of practice in 22nd position.
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “It’s good that we are through to SP2. After the first run Niki wasn’t relaxed, he knows that. The track temperature was higher and he didn’t have the initial feeling he did this morning in the slightly cooler conditions. He started to push too hard and the feeling became worse so we went back to a previous setting. In the end he did improve the lap time and stayed in the top ten. So we can go to FP3 in a relaxed way, confirm our settings and go for the best possible position on the grid which is what we were aiming for when we came here.”
“This morning for Andrew was quite good but again like Niki he went out this afternoon pushing too hard, not relaxed and didn’t go faster. The reality is he should be in the top twenty challenging towards the top fifteen, that is what he is capable of. Tomorrow in FP3 I’m sure he’ll be relaxed and improve in lap time but we need to carry that through to SP1. Realistically Andrew won’t go into SP2 but we need to do as we do with Niki and keep the riders calm and in a good frame of mind so they can really show their potential.”
World Supersport from Assen will be back on track tomorrow for Superpole 1 and Superpole 2 starting at 14:00 (local time).
Free Practices Combined Results
1 R. Krummenacher 1’38.116
2 S. Cortese +0.034
3 J. Cluzel +0.560
4 L. Stapleford +0.878
5 R. De Rosa +0.991
6 F. Caricasulo +0.998
7 L. Mahias +1.139
8 H. Okubo +1.162
9 R. Hartog +1.262
10 N. Tuuli CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +1.404
22 A. Irwin CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +2.694