2018 WorldSSP Misano - Riviera di Rimini
One-two for GRT Yamaha as rain curtails practice at Misano
The GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team dominated the opening day of Round 9 of the FIM Supersport World Championship at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, with Federico Caricasulo and Lucas Mahias finishing one-two on the timesheet. European Supersport Cup rider, Alfonso Coppola, improved his feeling with the bike once again to finish a creditable 18th.
While this morning's FP1 session was held in the hot and humid conditions so typical of Misano, this afternoon's second 50-minute session was effectively ended at the halfway point as rain showers arrived over the circuit.
Caricasulo secured the top spot on the combined timesheet with a time of 1: 38.204, set during the first free practice session. The Italian was unable to improve on this time during FP2 before being forced back to the pit box by the rain.
Third in this morning's free practice, a fast lap of 1:38.463 during the early stages of FP2 saw the Mahias move up to second place, just 0.259s off the time of his GRT Yamaha teammate.
For Coppola, who is still adapting to the Yamaha YZF-R6 machine in his first season racing in WorldSSP, the rain disrupted second session meant he wasn't able to better his lap time from this morning, but remains confident of improvement during tomorrow's final free practice session.
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - P1 - 1:38.204
"We started in a good way this morning, but I wasn't happy to miss the second half of this afternoon's session because of the rain, as we had some things to test on the bike to give us a direction for tomorrow. It's not a problem though as we still have FP3 to test what we missed in this session and it's always good to end the day in first position."
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - P2 - 1:38.463
"I'm really happy with the improvements we've made to the bike, it's just a shame that the rain arrived this afternoon when we have so much more to test. But with the updated engine I was faster after just three laps in FP2. We will continue to work tomorrow in FP3, even if the session is quite short, but I'm confident for qualifying and the race."
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Junior Team - P18 - 1:39.762
"Free practice one this morning wasn't bad, 1.5s to the first position. The second free practice session was an important one for me, but the rain meant it wasn't possible to improve my lap time. In this moment it's important to keep calm and to study for tomorrow, ready to continue working in free practice 3."
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team - Team Manager
"It was a very good day today and I'm very proud to see our riders at the top of the timesheet. This morning we were quick from the start, with Federico and Lucas first and third, which was a good result. In the afternoon we had some things to test on the bike but then it started raining. Even so Lucas managed to put in a good lap early in the session to go second, which meant we ended the first day in Misano better than expected. We made a good job with Alfonso this morning, trying a different set up, which brought an improvement. Unfortunately we weren't able to build on this in the afternoon because of the rain, but I am confident that we'll see further improvement tomorrow. Thanks to the team for a good job and thanks to Yamaha for the support and the improvement, which is important at this point in the season."