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Eazi Grip

A double podium and victory for Ten Kate Racing at Portimao WorldSSP

Manzi and Navarro give Ten Kate Racing a double podium at Portimao

Ten Kate Racing finished the first World Supersport race of the weekend at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve on Saturday afternoon with both riders on the podium. Stefano Manzi earned his 14th of the season by finishing second while Jorge Navarro took his first World Supersport podium by finishing third.

The eleventh round of the FIM Supersport World Championship at the very sunny and warm Autódromo Internacional do Algarve started well for Ten Kate Racing. After both riders already showed in Friday’s practice sessions that they were very fast on the Portuguese circuit, they continued that form continued on Saturday. In the Superpole, Stefano Manzi qualified second while Jorge Navarro achieved his best qualifying result by clocking the fourth fastest time.

Manzi started well and immediately moved up to second place after which he tried to follow the pace of the race leader. Navarro gave up a position but managed to climb to third halfway through the race. In tandem, the two Ten Kate Racing riders kept the pressure high on the leader after which Manzi eventually crossed the finish line in second with Navarro behind him in third. It is the first time since 2014 (Michael van der Mark and Lorenzo Zanetti, Imola) that there have been two Ten Kate Racing riders on the World Supersport podium.

Stefano Manzi – P2:“It was a good race for me because I made a good start and then I was already close to the front. It was so challenging to match Nicolò, in the second part of the race I was closing the gap but then I almost had a high-side so I knew it was nearly impossible. I tried again but I was over the limit and then realised that second place was the maximum result. I think this was one of my best races because I couldn’t give a anything more, there was not a place where I thought I could gain some more time. Now we need to secure the second place in the championship tomorrow and then we can enjoy the final race of the season.”

Jorge Navarro – P3:“I am very happy because we have been progressing a lot during the season. Until now the results we wanted and expected were not coming. I want to thank the team because they have been doing a very good job and kept believing in me. This weekend we knew that there was a chance to be on the podium and I was very determined at the start of the race. I think I learned more today, riding with the top guys, than I have done all season. Now we focus on where we need to improve and I am looking forward to race again tomorrow.”

Kervin Bos – Ten Kate Racing team manager:“A double podium is of course fantastic, the last time we managed that was in May 2014. On the other hand, this day does have one undertone because we lost the title race. The target was different this year and Stefano was close but we couldn’t turn the tide. I do think everyone is a bit freer now to step it up another notch tomorrow. Both riders have shown they are fast here and our package is working well so we will go out and attack again tomorrow.”

Manzi takes hard fought victory in Race 2 at Portimao after epic last lap battle

Stefano Manzi has won the second World Supersport race at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve on Sunday afternoon. The Italian fought a fierce battle with compatriot Nicolò Bulega who he eventually managed to stay ahead of after a thrilling duel, giving him his fourth win of the season. Jorge Navarro did not have the same feeling with his machine on Sunday and finished seventh.

After the double podium for Ten Kate Racing on Saturday the team was hungry for more success. Stefano Manzi made another good start and was able to keep up with his fellow Italians Nicolò Bulega and Yari Montella in the early stages of the race. The trio soon held a lead after which a fierce battle erupted. In the closing stages, Manzi and Bulega remained to fight for the victory and managed to pass each other several times. The Ten Kate Racing rider had the upper hand in the end and it resulted in him taking the win. It is his fourth win of the season and with it he secured his second place in the championship.

Jorge Navarro had to give up a few positions in the opening stages due to a poor start after which a tough task awaited him. Nevertheless, the Spaniard did not give up the fight and managed to make up several positions. In the end Navarro crossed the finish line in seventh place, scoring important points for the team championship. Ten Kate Racing currently leads that with a 52-point lead with one round to go.

Stefano Manzi – P1: “It was a fantastic race. The three of us on the front row made a great start and then our rhythm in the race was very high. Unlike yesterday, this time I was able to close the gap and battle with the two other riders. When I was able to lead I thought that I was fast enough to win. At the end we had a great fight in the last lap and I managed to win. I hope to enjoy the two races in Jerez in the same way and finish the year in a good way. I am quite happy to have secured the second place in the World Championship but of course not 100% happy as our goal this year was to win the title. Anyway, we had a great season and finished on the podium many times so we have to be happy with that.”

Jorge Navarro – P7: “Yesterday was a very good day for us but today was not the same story. I did not make a good start and then I did not have the same pace as I had yesterday. We need to understand what happened because the bike and I were the same. This is something we need to figure out to be stronger in Jerez. We didn’t finish a positive weekend in the best way but we keep working.”

Kervin Bos – Ten Kate Racing team manager: “A great win by Stefano in Portimão, we knew yesterday that he was in form and that we only needed to make a small step to fight for the win. The team was able to find that last night and, combined with Stefano’s capacities, that led to this victory. His racing skills have been outstanding all year and he has been able to use the YZF-R6’s strengths to the best of his ability.

After yesterday’s race, you also hope to finish with two riders on the podium in Race 2 but unfortunately Jorge didn’t have the same feeling with the machine today. The positive though is that he has really made a huge step and I expect him to be very strong in Jerez. With the upward trend of the last races, I expect us to be very competitive in the final weekend. After a tough weekend in Aragon, we came back strongly in Portimão this weekend so we are going back to Nieuwleusen with a good feeling.”

The next round of the World Supersport championship takes place the weekend of 27-29 October at the Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto in Spain. There, the last two races of 2023 will take place.

Posted on Monday, October 2nd, 2023 in News

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