The 34-strong WorldSSP field was closer than ever on Friday’s combined times, with the top 20 separated by less than a second around the 4.266 km circuit, but no one could match Gonzalez’s best efforts. After topping Free Practice 1 in the final moments, using the SCX Pirelli tyre – new to the championship this weekend – the 18-year-old did exactly the same in the afternoon session, with his final effort of 1’38.473 just 0.038s ahead of his closest challenger.
Having not used the new rubber in FP1, Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Steven Odendaal was confident of improving on his eighth place for the afternoon session. The South African’s best effort also came in the final moments of FP2, which was good enough for second on combined times.
Off the back of an emotional first WorldSSP victory last time out, Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Dominique Aegerter continued his strong run to go third overall, with the Swiss rider also setting his best time in the warmer afternoon session.
GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s duo ran almost identical lap times in both sessions, with Federico Caricasulo ending the day sixth on combined times at his home event, 0.027s ahead of teammate Jules Cluzel, who was seventh overall.
Kallio Racing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Hannes Soomer was in the mix once again, with the Estonian going fifth fastest in the opening session. He couldn’t improve his time in the afternoon, but remained just 0.429s away from the fastest time in ninth.
Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Maria Herrera ended the day 23rd, improving her time slightly in the afternoon session, with Kallio Racing Yamaha’s Vertti Takala 26th and Ten Kate Yamaha’s Galang Hendra Pratama 29th overall.
For Friday’s combined times, click here.