CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Niki Tuuli ended day one of Round Three of the World Supersport Championship at Motorland Aragon twelfth on the combined timesheets narrowly missing out on Superpole 2 by less than a tenth of a second. Tuuli had been safely inside the top ten until the very last lap of Free Practice Two when he dropped out of automatic entry.
Tuuli said: “The first session was quite good I improved my riding and we improved my bike today. It’s looking much better, it feels like my riding is more relaxed. I’m looking forward to tomorrow I’m really sure we can do it riding better lap times like I did today because on my fast lap I made a couple of mistakes and if we can improve the bike more then we can do a really good job tomorrow.”
Fellow CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Andrew Irwin faced a steep learning curve on the opening day of free practice. Irwin’s first outing at the 5.077km Spanish track ended with him in 28th position on the combined timesheets as he worked to learn the circuit.
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “Niki had a good FP1 and only just missed out on SP2 but the fact remains we are only 12th after FP2. For sure we have the potential to challenge inside the top 6 but we need to make that one lap. We improved the bike and the rear grip today and Niki felt confident to go faster. He has a very good chance tomorrow, it’s not easy but we need to do our best to get into Superpole 2 to challenge for the best grid position.”
“Andrew has never been here before and he still has some problem with his hand. His crew chief Kor is a very experienced guy and can help him improve tomorrow but he needs to make a big step in FP3. I’m sure we can work through it with him to challenge for the best possible grid position and another top twenty finish in the race.”
World Supersport gets back on track tomorrow for Free Practice 3 at 09:15 followed by Superpole 1 at 14:00. (All times local).
Free Practices Combined Results
1 R. Krummenacher 1’54.750
2 L. Mahias +0.021
3 S. Cortese +0.050
4 F. Caricasulo +0.070
5 J. Cluzel +0.118
6 L. Stapleford +0.606
7 R. De Rosa +0.767
8 K. Smith +1.090
9 A. Badovini +1.104
10 M. Canducci +1.121
12 N. Tuuli CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +1.163
28 A. Irwin CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +4.524