The French circuit saw heavy rain in the morning drench the track making for an interesting qualifying day for WorldSSP. Tricky track conditions saw a rush of activity at the top of the timesheets with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing’s Randy Krummenacher and Jacobsen alternating the lead at the top. Just when American PJ Jacobsen (who graduated from Superpole 1) thought he had sealed the top position on the grid, Sofuoglu put in a stunning last lap to steal it away, proving he is focused on hunting down that fifth title.
GRT Racing’s Gino Rea, who had progressed through from Superpole 1 finished fourth ahead of local hero Jules Cluzel in fifth, who will look to use the second row grid start on his MV Agusta to achieve a home podium on race day.
Illia Mikhalchyk (DS Junior Team) was the first FIM Europe Supersport rider home, locking out sixth place on the grid ahead of Kallio Racing’s Niki Tuuli. Christian Gamarino from Team GoELEVEN had good form in the wet to secure eighth on the grid while second ESS rider home was Alessandro Zaccone (San Carlo Team Italia) locked out P9 with teammate Axel Bassani locking out the top ten.
After being extremely fast in the early stages of the qualifying session, Kawasaki Puccetti racing’s Randy Krummenacher found it difficult to improve in the latter parts, to finally start from P11 on the grid. Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK #25) was last man home in the Tissot-Superpole 2 shoot-out in P12.
Magny-Cours will see WorldSSP action again on Sunday 3nd of October at 11:20 local time (GMT+2) where their race could see Kenan Sofuoglu crowned World Champion for the fifth time.
Sofuoglu: “There were a lot of people trying to follow but this is what happens in Superpole. Jacobsen had some advantage from Superpole 1 because he had some laps on the track which was a big help for him. But each lap I was getting faster and faster and then on the final lap I said ‘now I’m going to push to the maximum’. I’m very happy that on the last lap I got pole position. If it was dry I could have got the Superpole easier. In the wet it wasn’t easy, but anyway we managed the Superpole.”
PJ: “I was pretty frustrated about being in Superpole 1 yesterday. But actually it helped me a lot. I found a really good set up for the bike. It’s working really good. In the wet here I was on pole last year. So it’s not too bad being in P2 but I really wanted pole. So that’s why I was in P1 the whole time and kept trying and trying. But unfortunately it didn’t work out.”
Badovini: “I’m really happy because it’s my first front row in Supersport. I’m happy about this because we are good in the dry. Tomorrow it will probably be dry and so it will be important to be with the fastest riders. I’m also happy because I wasn’t in a good condition in the rain. I didn’t have traction on the rear and every lap I was close to crashing. Especially on the last lap, I tried and I was really close to the limit. I’m happy for this third position.”
Kenan Sofuoglu Kawasaki Puccetti Racing 1’55.461
PJ Jacobsen Honda World Supersport Team 1’55.786
Ayrton Badovini GEMAR Balloons – Team Lorini 1’56.694
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of Dorna