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Portimao WorldSSP, Race 1 | Nicolo Bulega wraps up 2023 WorldSSP title with 14th win

Gold & Goose
Nicolo Bulega, Aruba Racing, Ducati Panigale V2, 2023 WorldSSP, Aragon, action [Gold & Goose]

Nicolo Bulega has sealed the 2023 WorldSSP Championship title after reeling off the 14th win of a dominant campaign during the first race of the penultimate weekend at Portimao.

A fifth straight win for the Italian, a run of form that would break any hope of a late challenge from one of his rivals, Bulega held his nerve in the closing laps to ensure his coronation across the finish line.

Coming in his second season in the middleweight category, the ex-Moto2 rider’s success also marks a first title for Ducati with its Panigale V2, not to mention its championship since the category’s inaugural campaign in 1997 when it was known as a ‘World Series’ rather than a ratified FIM World Championship.


Though not as comprehensive as many of his victories this season, Bulega still had to grit his teeth at the beginning when a lacklustre start from pole position risked losing him the hole-shot into Turn 1.

However, a fast sweep from the outside was enough to get him back ahead of his last remaining rival, Stefano Manzi, for a lead he’d protect all the way to the flag.

He would encounter some opposition along the way with a charging Yari Montella hassling him at the mid-way stage of the race, but a technical issue for the Barni Spark Racing rider would give Bulega the breathing room he needed to complete the decisive win.

The only rider other than Bulega to score multiple wins in WorldSSP so far this season, Manzi all but secured himself the runners-up spot in the series with his run to second place on the Ten Kate Yamaha, the Italian joined on the podium for the first time by team-mate Jorge Navarro.

Marcel Schroetter prevailed in a tussle with Valentin Debise to take fourth place, the duo chased across the line by Federico Caricasiulo, while Bahattin Sofuoglu made good gains from 14th on the grid to claim seventh on the second of the MV Agusta entries.

Despite having to serve a long-lap penalty for rather unceremoniously punting Tom Booth-Amos off his Kawasaki at Turn 3 with eight laps remaining, Raffaele de Rosa held on for eighth, ahead of top Triumph rider Niki Tuuli and Evan Bros Yamaha’s Lorenzo Dalla Porta.

Further back, John McPhee was in the points again on the D34G Ducati, the Scot coming home in 13th, while Booth-Amos remounted and continued to pick up the 15th and final point.

2023 Portimao WorldSSP | Portimao | Race 1 Results | Round 11 of 12
1Nicolo Bulega🇮🇹Aruba RacingDucati Panigale V218 Laps
2Stefano Manzi🇮🇹Ten Kate RacingYamaha R6+2.637
3Jorge Navarro🇪🇦Ten Kate RacingYamaha R6+6.521
4Marcel Schroetter🇩🇪MV Agusta Reparto CorseMV Agusta F3 800 RR+14.090
5Valentin Debise🇨🇵GMT94Yamaha R6+14.250
6Federico Caricasulo🇮🇹Althea RacingDucati Panigale V2+15.410
7Bahattin Sofuoglu🇹🇷MV Agusta Reparto CorseMV Agusta F3 800 RR+20.949
8Raffaele de Rosa🇮🇹Orelac Racing VerdnaturaDucati Panigale V2+22.986
9Niki Tuuli🇫🇮PTR RacingTriumph STR 765 RS+25.683
10Lorenzo Dalla Porta🇮🇹Evan Bros. TeamYamaha R6+28.865
11Tom Edwards🇦🇺YARTYamaha R6+28.944
12Ondrej Vostatek🇵🇱PTR RacingTriumph STR 765 RS+29.081
13John McPhee🇬🇧D34G RacingDucati Panigale V2+32.860
14Can Oncu🇹🇷Puccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-6R+37.565
15Tom Booth-Amos🇬🇧Motozoo RacingKawasaki ZX-6R+40.212
16Yeray Ruiz🇪🇦MDR OfftecYamaha R6+42.049
17Anupab Sarmoon🇹🇭Yamaha Thailand RacingYamaha R6+46.969
18Luke Power🇦🇺Motozoo RacingKawasaki ZX-6R+47.119
19Max Kofler🇦🇹D34G RacingDucati Panigale V2+47.208
20Twan Smits🇳🇱Yamaha Thailand RacingYamaha R6+47.371
21Federico Fuligni🇮🇹Orelac Racing VerdnaturaDucati Panigale V2+47.576
22Tarran Mackenzie🇬🇧Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR600RR+45.763
23Alvaro Diaz🇪🇦Arco YARTYamaha R6+48.060
24Ibrahim Norrodin🇲🇾Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR600RR+57.213
25Yuta Okaya🇯🇵ProDina RacingKawasaki ZX-6R+57.223
26Maiki Abe🇯🇵VFT RacingYamaha R6+1m >
DNFAndrea Migno🇮🇹Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR600RR
DNFGlenn van Straalen🇳🇱EAB RacingYamaha R6
DNFLeonardo Taccini🇮🇹Vince64 by PuccettiKawasaki ZX-6R
DNFYari Montella🇮🇹Barni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V2
DNFAdrian Huertas🇪🇦MTM RacingKawasaki ZX-6R
WNicholas Spinelli🇮🇹VFT RacingYamaha R6

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