WorldSBK Portimao: Aegerter breaks lap record for WorldSSP pole

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Picture: GeeBee Images

Ten Kate Yamaha’s Dominique Aegerter claimed WorldSSP pole position on Saturday morning with a new all-time lap record at Portimao.

The Autódromo do Algarve saw the record smashed multiple times in quick succession as Ducati’s Federico Caricasulo and GMT Yamaha’s Jules Cluzel completed the front row. The Althea man just two tenths shy of the leading R6 with the top seven all underneath the Frenchman’s 2021 best.

Qualifying for the Supersport class began with Aegerter setting the impressive pace from the outset with a 1’44.223 before a trio of rivals bettered with their second attempts. EAB’s Glenn van Straalen claimed the first 1’43 of the weekend from Evan Bros. Yamaha’s Lorenzo Baldassarri and Puccetti Kawasaki’s Yari Montella before the Swiss rider struck back almost half a second ahead to claim a new lap record with a 1’43.557.

MV Agusta’s Niki Tuuli was the next to challenge, finding second, three tenths adrift, as Cluzel arrived to third. Caricasulo setting his sights on pole with a 1’43.357 at the halfway stage with the Aruba Ducati of Nicola Bulega yet to set a time due to technical issues on his Panigale V2.

Hannes Soomer claimed sixth on the Dynavolt Triumph as the final five minutes began. Teammate Stefano Manzi slotting into ninth with Orelac Ducati’s Raffaele de Rosa completing the top ten as Baldassarri crashed out at turn eight.

Manzi’s run advanced to fourth next time around as Aegerter returned to provisional pole before a striking 1’43.207 from de Rosa stole the show.

The battle continued in the closing minute as Aegerter returned to command with a 1’43.065, Caricasulo heading out for a final personal best effort but unable to challenge outright as he settled for second - de Rosa’s previous lap deleted due to yellow flags with Cluzel promoted into the final front row position.

Manzi finished fourth from Tuuli, van Straalen, MV’s Bahattin Sofuoglu and the fallen Baldassarri with Soomer and de Rosa completing the top ten.

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