Championship leader Locatelli showed no signs of slowing up, despite his relative lack of experience at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, firing in the fastest time of all late in FP1 this morning. After a lowside crash midway through FP2, Locatelli returned to the Portuguese circuit with less than five minutes remaining, but duly knocked title rival Jules Cluzel off top spot in the dying moments to win Friday’s battle by just 0.068 seconds.
Hot on Locatelli’s heels was the aforementioned GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Supported rider Cluzel, who led for much of both practice sessions but couldn’t quite topple his WorldSSP rival, with the Frenchman ending the day second fastest on combined times. Kallio Racing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported rider Isaac Vinales posted the third fastest lap of Friday in the final moments of FP2, to ensure it was three Yamaha R6s in the top three places overall.
GMT94 rider Corentin Perolari made a strong start to the weekend with third in FP1, ending the day in sixth as riders around him improved late in FP2, with Kallio Racing’s Hannes Soomer making it five Yamahas in the top eight on combined times following his effort in the afternoon session.
Both of Yamaha bLU cRU WorldSSP’s 2020 rookies, Andy Verdoïa and Galang Hendra Pratama, endured a difficult start to their weekend at the 4.658 km circuit. Indonesian rider Hendra Pratama led his French teammate in 22nd and 23rd overall, but both are still confident of moving up the order as they gain experience on the Yamaha R6.
For the second consecutive weekend, the WorldSSP will run two races at Portimão, with Race 1 getting underway tomorrow at 15:15 (GMT+1), and Race 2 starting at 12:30 (GMT+1) on Sunday.
For full results click here.