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Portimao WorldSSP, Race 2 | Manzi ends Bulega's streak with fourth win of 2023

Gold & Goose
Stefano Manzi, Ten Kate Racing, Yamaha R6, 2023 WorldSSP, Portimao, action [Gold & Goose]

Stefano Manzi brought Nicolo Bulega’s title-winning streak of WorldSSP victories to an end with a hard-fought fourth podium-topping success of the season in Race 2 at Portimao.

The Italian dug deep in an entertaining final lap exchange with Bulega to repel the newly-crowned WorldSSP Champion, Manzi beating him in a sprint to the finish line by a mere +0.084secs.

The victory ends a run of five consecutive wins for Aruba Racing’s Bulega, though this will matter little to the Aruba Racing Ducati rider, who came into the Sunday’s encounter bearing the glow of a World Champion after his 14th victory of the season in the weekend’s first race proved enough to make his title win a formality.


Nevertheless, while the title trophy might be off the table, there was still plenty on the line in the weekend’s second encounter, with the pair grappling over the lead through the duration of the last lap.

For the most part it was Manzi that looked on course for a comfortable win, the Ten Kate Yamaha rider dismissing Bulega’s initially good getaway to instead pull away with Yari Montella in a dispute for the lead that would go deep into the final stages of the race.

However, just as Bulega began to make headway back into the lead fight, Montella’s error into Turn 3 with two laps to go spurred the Aruba Ducati rider on further as the battle for victory whittled down to a direct head-to-head.

Coming into the final lap, Bulega traded the first blow with a pass into Turn 1, only for Manzi to deliver an immediate retort that restored his advantage.

It was a trend the pair carried into most corners of the Portuguese circuit but when the pair were forced to sit up after getting too close for comfort into Turn 10, it was Manzi who’d emerge ahead. It would prove decisive too, Manzi carrying the lead through to the flag.

A fourth win to add to his successes in Misano and double win at Imola, the result also cements Manzi’s runners-up spot in the overall standings over Marcel Schroetter.

Having shown front-running pace in both races, Montella had to make do with third on the Barni Spark Ducati on this occasion, the Italian well clear of Schroetter and Federico Caricasulo in fourth and fifth respectively.

Glenn van Straalen put the disappointment of his Race 1 DNF behind him to finish his weekend with a sixth, ahead of Jorge Navarro - who struggled to recover from a poor start off the second row - in seventh, Raffaele de Rosa in eighth, Lorenzo Dalla Porta in ninth and Niki Tuuli in tenth.

Among the British contingent, Tom Booth-Amos was an early retirement with technical issues but he remains well on course to clinch the 2023 WorldSSP Challenge title. A subcategory for riders only competing in the European rounds, the points’ format reflects that of the main table (eighth in the overall classification means eight points for both the Overall and Challenge classification).


As such, with Tom Edwards 30 points behind Booth-Amos and a mathematical 50 available from the Jerez finale, there is still a chance for the Australian to take the title, though it remains unlikely.

Meanwhile, John McPhee picked up another couple of points for 14th on the D34G Ducati, with Tarran Mackenzie the best of the MIE Honda riders in 20th

2023 Portimao WorldSSP | Portimao | Race 2 Results | Round 11 of 12
1Stefano Manzi🇮🇹Ten Kate RacingYamaha R617 Laps
2Nicolo Bulega🇮🇹Aruba RacingDucati Panigale V2+0.084
3Yari Montella🇮🇹Barni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V2+3.278
4Marcel Schroetter🇩🇪MV Agusta Reparto CorseMV Agusta F3 800 RR+6.300
5Federico Caricasulo🇮🇹Althea RacingDucati Panigale V2+7.905
6Glenn van Straalen🇳🇱EAB RacingYamaha R6+9.427
7Jorge Navarro🇪🇦Ten Kate RacingYamaha R6+13.325
8Raffaele de Rosa🇮🇹Orelac Racing VerdnaturaDucati Panigale V2+13.361
9Lorenzo Dalla Porta🇮🇹Evan Bros. TeamYamaha R6+16.393
10Niki Tuuli🇫🇮PTR RacingTriumph STR 765 RS+17.832
11Yeray Ruiz🇪🇦MDR OfftecYamaha R6+18.475
12Tom Edwards🇦🇺YARTYamaha R6+18.516
13Ondrej Vostatek🇵🇱PTR RacingTriumph STR 765 RS+19.090
14John McPhee🇬🇧D34G RacingDucati Panigale V2+24.006
15Can Oncu🇹🇷Puccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-6R+34.248
16Alvaro Diaz🇪🇦Arco YARTYamaha R6+34.768
17Bahattin Sofuoglu🇹🇷MV Agusta Reparto CorseMV Agusta F3 800 RR+38.235
18Anupab Sarmoon🇹🇭Yamaha Thailand RacingYamaha R6+38.670
19Luke Power🇦🇺Motozoo RacingKawasaki ZX-6R+39.476
20Tarran Mackenzie🇬🇧Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR600RR+39.802
21Ibrahim Norrodin🇲🇾Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR600RR+42.559
22Max Kofler🇦🇹D34G RacingDucati Panigale V2+42.355
23Andrea Migno🇮🇹Petronas MIE RacingHonda CBR600RR+58.355
24Twan Smits🇳🇱Yamaha Thailand RacingYamaha R6+1m >
26Yuta Okaya🇯🇵ProDina RacingKawasaki ZX-6R+1m >
DNFAdrian Huertas🇪🇦MTM RacingKawasaki ZX-6R
DNFValentin Debise🇨🇵GMT94Yamaha R6
DNFTom Booth-Amos🇬🇧Motozoo RacingKawasaki ZX-6R
WLeonardo Taccini🇮🇹Vince64 by PuccettiKawasaki ZX-6R
WMaiki Abe🇯🇵VFT RacingYamaha R6
WFederico Fuligni🇮🇹Orelac Racing VerdnaturaDucati Panigale V2
WNicholas Spinelli🇮🇹VFT RacingYamaha R6

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