With none of the bLU cRU riders having raced at the Portuguese venue, FP1 was about finding the limits on their R3 GYTR kitted bikes. 2020 rookie Diaz was quick to get to grips with the track and went 12th fastest after the morning’s running. In FP2, the 17-year-old continued to improve and put in his quickest lap with just a few minutes remaining, which was good enough for fifth on combined times.
Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha teammate Bahattin Sofuoğlu also showed good progress throughout Friday’s sessions. The Turkish ace was fifth in his FP1 group, but dropped to 18th on combined times this morning as the grip levels improved for the second group of riders. In FP2, the current Yamaha R3 bLU cRU Challenge leader made a positive step forwards to end the day 10th overall.
Just behind was Yamaha MS Racing WorldSSP300 Supported Team’s Alan Kroh, who continued his strong late season form in Portugal to go fifth fastest overall in FP1. The bLU cRU rider improved his time in FP2 but was denied a chance to move further up the order after going off at Turn 1, seeing him end the day 12th overall.
Heading into this weekend fourth in the standings, Yamaha MS Racing’s Unai Orradre was also well in the mix in FP1, going eighth fastest. Traffic meant the 16-year-old couldn’t improve his lap in the afternoon, but he remained comfortably inside the top 30 needed to automatically qualify for the races, with the 16th fastest time.
Yamaha MS Racing teammate Ton Kawakami struggled to put together his perfect lap over the two sessions, ending the opening day 25th on combined times. However, the Brazilian’s sector times showed he had the potential to be much higher up the order and he is confident of improving in FP3 tomorrow.
For Friday's combined times, click here.