With cooler conditions in Free Practice 1, similar to what is expected in tomorrow’s opening race, South African rider Odendaal, still recovering from a shoulder injury during pre-season, came within 0.073s of the fastest time, with his 1’54.467 giving him the second fastest lap of the day. In FP2, with track temperatures reaching 48°C, Odendaal could not improve his time but still went second quickest in the session.
GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Jules Cluzel was also in the mix right from the off. The French rider was fourth fastest after the morning run and also showed promising pace in the hotter afternoon session, where he placed third overall. He was fourth on combined times for the day, ahead of his new teammate Federico Caricasulo.
The Italian, who returns to WorldSSP for 2021, was only 0.034s down on Cluzel during FP1 and a further two tenths down in the afternoon, but his morning time was enough to see him end Friday in an encouraging fifth overall.
Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team marked their championship return with a promising opening day, as series rookie Dominique Aegerter went sixth fastest in FP1, having led the early stages. He was eighth in the afternoon and sixth on combined times, and despite his strong pace, believes there’s still more to come this weekend.
Kallio Racing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Hannes Soomer ended the first session in a promising ninth place, with the Estonian also going ninth in FP2. He was 11th on combined times, albeit less than a tenth behind seventh, showing he’ll be ready to fight in the close top 10 battle.
Riding a Yamaha R6 for the first time, ParkinGO Yamaha’s Manuel Gonzalez made good progress throughout Friday. After placing 14th in FP1, the Spaniard managed to improve his time in the hotter afternoon session, going 10th in FP2 and 13th overall.
Although he enters as a relative unknown, Kallio Racing Yamaha’s Vertti Takala quickly adapted to WorldSSP, and was 13th fasted in the opening session. The Estonian was 16th in the afternoon and ended the day 17th on combined times.
Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300 Supported Team’s Maria Herrera ended her first Friday of the season in 19th on combined times, while Indonesia’s Galang Hendra Pratama was 26th for the Ten Kate Yamaha team.
For Friday’s combined times, click here.