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Eazi Grip

A great weekend for Manzi with a podium at Phillip Island and Navarro scores points for Ten Kate Racing

Saturday

Pole position and points for Ten Kate Racing during hectic Saturday at Phillip Island

Stefano Manzi and Jorge Navarro both scored points in the first World Supersport race of 2023 at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. The two riders kept their cool in treacherous conditions and ensured that both Ten Kate Racing Yamaha’s finished in the top ten.

After two good free practice sessions on Friday, Stefano Manzi managed to secure his first pole position on Saturday morning. In the early stages of the Superpole session it was raining but the Italian eventually managed to set the fastest lap time in impressive fashion. The same changing weather conditions were present in the multiple-interrupted race, with Manzi eventually crossing the finish line in sixth place.

For Jorge Navarro the weekend was a lot more challenging, causing him to start the race from fifteenth on the grid. In the end, the Spaniard rode a sensible race and managed to finish ninth from last place on the grid after the interruption.

Stefano Manzi: “The day started very well with pole position, I was very happy with how we managed that session. The race was in mixed conditions, and we started with slicks on a wet track. After the red flag we went on rain tyres but then the start was delayed again, so we decided to use the intermediate rear as the track was drying. Until halfway that was a good choice because I gained some positions, but then it started raining again so I had to slow down to make sure that I could finish. It was the best I could today in these conditions, but I think we can be happy with the result.”

Jorge Navarro: “It was a very crazy day today. Already in Superpole it started to rain, and then it dried quickly again. Similar happened in the race with the heavy rain coming suddenly. I am satisfied that I finished my first race with some points. Hopefully it will remain dry tomorrow so we can continue to work.”

Kervin Bos – Ten Kate Racing team manager: “What a chaotic race. We opted for the rear intermediate tire, and it was the best choice until it started raining again three laps before the end. Of course we were a little disappointed because with his convincing pole position, Stefano was the man to beat. Anyway, he showed that he is fast in all different conditions, it just remains a gamble at times like these.

Besides Stefano, Jorge also managed to score good points, especially since he was last on the grid after the red flag. It was a very tough race for him with his leg injury, in that respect we can just be happy with both riders in the points in crazy races like this.

The Yamaha Thailand Racing Team also scored points, so in the end it was a good day. Hopefully the weather conditions will get better again, just like it has been for the past few days. We are looking forward to tomorrow and hope to leave Australia with at least a podium finish.”

Sunday

Manzi achieves first podium with Ten Kate Racing in Australia, Navarro steps up to P6

Stefano Manzi finished second in the second World Supersport race on Sunday at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. The Italian was in contention for victory but Cape Barren geese crossing the track caused a red flag, so he had to settle for second place. Jorge Navarro rode an impressive race despite his injury and finished sixth.

Manzi could not fully make use of his pole position but it was soon clear that he was among the strongest riders. With a considerable lead to the rest of the field the Italian rode in the lead for three laps, however at the moment of the red flag he had to leave his compatriot Bulega in front. With a total of 30 points, Manzi is now second in the championship.

Starting from fifteenth place on the grid, Navarro had to come a long way but because of a good opening lap he soon managed to make up several positions. The Spaniard showed what he is capable of despite his injuries, with seventeen points from two races he is seventh in the championship.

Stefano Manzi – P2: “It was a good race, together with Bulega and Öncü we were fighting for the win. I was able to lead some laps but unfortunately the red flag came a couple of laps before the end, which means I finished second. It’s good to finish on the podium but of course I’m a little bit disappointed, I think we could have done more. I can’t say that I would have won but I definitely would have tried. Now we look towards next weekend as we will have another round. We have worked hard over the past week and I’m looking forward to continue in Indonesia.”

Jorge Navarro – P6: “We couldn’t ride this morning in the warm-up because of the weather but we prepared a different package for the race, to make it more suited to my style. There are still some things to work on but I felt quite good in the race, the most important thing is that we finished and scored some solid points. I started to struggle a lot with my leg again, I didn’t have the power in the left corners. Luckily for me the geese appeared and caused a red flag, so I finished in P6. We minimised the loss this weekend and have some positive things to take away towards the next weekend. I want to thank the team for their effort and I’m looking forward to start again next Friday in Mandalika.”

Kervin Bos – Ten Kate Racing team manager: “The first dry day of racing is over. Stefano had an excellent race with his second-place finish: he was fast and built up his race battling Bulega. Then the red flag came, just at the stage of the race when the guys were preparing for the end of the race. We felt we were in a good position but unfortunately the red flag ended it.

Furthermore, Jorge surprised me very positively today. He clearly shows that he is a smart racer and did well with sixth position. We know how limited he is with his left leg and it is not his favourite track, especially the many left turns do not work in his favour. So I expect things to be better for him in Mandalika.

With a second and sixth place, as a team we can look back positively on this start of the season. We have shown that the team, Yamaha and the sponsors have made the right choice for the riders. The Yamaha Thailand Racing Team also scored points again so the whole project has started the season well. We look forward to continuing like this in Indonesia!”

The next round of the FIM Supersport World Championship is already scheduled next weekend. From March 3-5, Ten Kate Racing will be back in action at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit where the World Supersport title was won just last November.

Posted on Monday, February 27th, 2023 in News

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