Near-perfect conditions greeted the riders on the opening day of the season at the Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round, as temperatures rose to above 30 degrees Celsius and the sun shone on the iconic 4.445km Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit for the two 45-minute free practice sessions.
Manzi got his season off to the ideal start as he topped Free Practice 1 on his Yamaha R6 with a 1:33.514, before the 23-year-old Italian improved in the afternoon session to end the day with a 1:33.362, which was good enough to secure second overall, 0.510s off the fastest rider.
GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Valentin Debise showed good pace, and even though he was one of the riders who did not improve his time in Free Practice 2, his 1:34.147 set in the morning was good enough to ensure he ended the day in ninth.
Manzi’s rookie teammate Jorge Navarro impressed again as he continued his adaptation to the class in 14th on the combined timesheets, with the former Moto2 rider recording a 1:34.634 in FP2.
Another newcomer to the class, Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Andrea Mantovani, showed consistent pace in both sessions to finish the day 16th overall with a best time of 1:34.984.
It was a strong debut for Team Yamaha Thailand, with rookies Apiwath Wongthananon (1:34.962) in 15th and Anupab Sarmoon (1:35.523) in 18th as the duo improved as the day went on.
The FIM Supersport World Championship continues on Saturday morning with Superpole at 12:25 pm local time (UTC+11) before Race 1 at 2:30 pm.