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WorldSBK Phillip Island: Bulega fastest in WorldSSP on Friday

Nicolo Bulega maintained the Aruba Ducati domination at Phillip Island on Friday by the topping WorldSSP times after FP2.

It was an all-Italian affair as the 2023 FIM Supersport World Championship got underway, Bulega bettering countryman and Ten Kate Yamaha rider Stefano Manzi by half a second at the close of play on Friday thanks to a 1’32.852 lap.

MTM Kawasaki’s Adrian Huertas claimed third overall despite crashing at turn ten during both sessions, the morning off bringing out the red flags in the opening ten minutes before the second concluded his afternoon action early after just 12 laps. The Spaniard, however, maintained his advantage over Althea’s fourth placed Federico Caricasulo in the combined standings thanks to the pair’s FP1 times. The number 64 enduring his own off at MG as the afternoon wound down.


VFT Yamaha’s Nicholas Spinelli impressed on his rookie outing claiming third in FP2 and fifth overall as the season ignited. A tenth separating him from Puccetti Kawasaki’s Can Öncü as the Turkish rider rounded out the top six.

Local hero Oli Bayliss showcased an impressive final corner save as he completed the top ten following his move to the D34G Ducati squad while British riders John McPhee (Vince64 Puccetti), Harry Truelove (Dynavolt Triumph) and Tarran Mackenzie (Petronas MIE MS Honda) ended their opening day 19th, 20th and 22nd respectively. The latter losing the majority of the final practice after his own turn ten crash to complete just 20 laps across the two sessions.

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