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Locatelli Leads the Yamaha WorldSSP Charge in Phillip Island

Locatelli Leads the Yamaha WorldSSP Charge in Phillip Island

It was WorldSSP newcomer and Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported rider, Andrea Locatelli, who was the fastest Yamaha rider in Phillip Island today, with the Italian ending the day second on combined times after a red flag disrupted second free practice session.f

Halfway through the 45-minute session, the red flag brought proceedings to a temporary halt while marshals worked to clean oil from the track at Turn One. Once the session was resumed it was Locatelli who took the fight to Randy Krummenacher, but the Italian wasn't able to dislodge the reigning Supersport World Champion from the top spot on the timesheet and had to settle for second place at the chequered flag.

Isaac Viñales secured fifth place on the timesheet aboard his Kallio Racing Yamaha R6, ahead of Steven Odendaal in sixth and GMT94 Yamaha's Corentin Perolari in seventh. Jules Cluzel, who was sidelined halfway through the second free practice session due to a technical problem, ended the day ninth, with Hannes Soomer 13th.

Yamaha bLU cRU WorldSSP riders, Andy Verdoïa and Galang Hendra Pratama enjoyed mixed fortunes on the opening day in Phillip Island. Verdoïa finished today in P17 and was happy with the progress made since the test earlier in the week. Galang Hendra, making his first appearance at Phillip Island having missed the two-day test due to travel delays, ended the day in P23 but confident the more laps of the tricky Phillip Island circuit tomorrow will bring significant improvement in both his lap time and his position on the timesheet. 

Organisers have now confirmed that the first race of the FIM Supersport World Championship season on Sunday will take place under flag-to-flag conditions. A compulsory entry to the pits to change tyres for all bikes, as seen last season, will be undertaken with a shortened race distance of 16 laps, the same as wet weather race distance.

Andrea Locatelli

Position: 2nd Time: 1'33.213

FP2 today was not so easy, as the feeling with the bike wasn't as strong as it was during the test a few days ago. We will change a few small things on the bike for tomorrow to see if we can rediscover the feeling from the test again. The high temperatures mean that it's difficult to find rear grip, but I'm still pretty happy because I was fast at the end of the session. I'm not sure what to expect on Sunday, as it will be my first Supersport and my first flag to flag race, but the compulsory pit stop could change a little bit the race, but we are ready.

Andy Verdoïa

Position: 17th Time: 1'35.058

"I feel good after the two sessions today, in which I did all my laps alone with a good pace, so for now it's okay. We need to improve further in FP3 ahead of qualifying, but in one lap I can be really fast if I can put all the sectors in a row. We will see tomorrow but, overall, I'm very happy with the job today and with the new team."