Eazi Grip

Podium for Ten Kate Racing before unfortunate crash and long lap penalty on Sunday

Friday Practice

Stefano Manzi qualified fourth on Friday afternoon for the first World Supersport race of the season at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. The Italian was fast enough for a place on the front row of the grid but saw his lap time cancelled due to a yellow flag situation. Glenn van Straalen finished seventeenth after crashing early in the session.

After being sunny and warm all week at Phillip Island, the weather conditions were completely different on Friday. Much colder air, strong wind gusts and alternating rain showers made for tricky and unpredictable conditions at the Australian circuit. Despite that, both Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing riders started well on the first day of the new season with fast lap times and good pace in free practice.

Due to a new schedule, the Superpole session is run on Friday afternoon from this season onwards, a challenging innovation for the teams in the World Supersport class. Manzi immediately joined the fastest riders and seemed to be heading for a place on the front row of the grid. However, on his fastest lap, yellow flags were waved on the start/finish straight, rendering this lap invalid. As a result, the Italian will start the first race of the year from fourth place.

Van Straalen started his first qualifying session strongly but made a mistake early in the session. Due to a crash it took a lot of time to get the machine back in the pit box and finally ready to go out on track again. When that was done, it started raining on the Australian circuit which prevented him from improving his time. The Dutchman will have to start his first race of the season from 17th place.

Stefano Manzi – P4: “So finally we start with the first Friday of the raceweekend. Superpole was not what we expected but free practice was very good. In qualifying we struggled with the weather, so I was a little bit unlucky. This morning I set a good time and it is not bad to start from the second row so hopefully we can improve tomorrow in warm up and have a good start in the race.”

Glenn van Straalen – P17: “We started well this morning and had made quite a step up from the test. We were in a position where we belonged. In qualifying, I asked a little too much from the machine on the second lap and that ruined our session. Then it rained at the end of the session which prevented us from improving the lap time. It was very unfortunate that things turned out this way today but I would like to thank the team for fixing the machine so quickly.”

Kervin Bos – Ten Kate Racing team manager: “It was an eventful day for us with this new format. As we expected, it takes some getting used to on Friday because we have to qualify straight away after one free practice session. The biggest surprise for us was the weather, after the past few days being tropically warm we now suddenly had to deal with rain and a lot of wind which forced us to change our plans.

Rainy conditions and some red flags did not bring us ideal conditions for qualifying. Stefano had set the third fastest time but due to yellow flags his lap time was cancelled and he ended up finishing in fourth place, which is fine but for us the potential was many times higher. It is encouraging that his race pace is very good so we are looking forward to the race immensely.

Glenn had a strong free practice which made us go into qualifying with a lot of confidence. Unfortunately, he slid off in the opening stages so we lost a lot of time getting the bike back and repaired. When he got back on track it started raining so he had some bad luck with that. For Glenn, the goal tomorrow in the race will be to set a lap time in the top nine so that will improve his starting position for Race 2. We are ready to race tomorrow.”

Saturday Race One

Stefano Manzi finished second in the first World Supersport race of the season at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on Saturday afternoon. The Italian gave Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing its first trophy of 2024 despite facing a tyre problem prior to the first pit stop. Glenn van Straalen eventually crossed finish line 18th after crashing on the opening lap.

Under favourable conditions, the first FIM Supersport World Championship race of the season was held at Phillip Island in Australia on Saturday. During the warm-up session in the morning, Stefano Manzi already showed his phenomenal race pace by breaking Friday afternoon’s pole record.

In the race, the Italian started strongly and led several laps until he dropped back due to a tyre problem. As a result, his pit stop was carried out earlier than planned and he had to mainly save his tyres in the second part of the race. Manzi did not want to take any unnecessary risks and eventually crossed the finish line in second place, scoring his first 20 points of the year.

Glenn van Straalen saw his race all but ended after just two corners due to a crash with another rider. The Dutchman managed to bring his Yamaha YZF-R6 back to the pit box which allowed him to finish the race after some quick repairs.

Stefano Manzi – P2: “This was a nice way to start the season but to be honest I was looking for the victory after my pace in the morning. Therefore I was am a bit disappointed with the second place but it was a strange race. We knew already that this would be different race because of the pit stop so for that I’m quite happy to be on the podium. Tomorrow we have another race so I’ll try my best again.”

Glenn van Straalen – P18: “It was a messy start, already in turn 2 I collided with another rider and we went down together. I think it was good we kept going after that but unfortunately we didn’t match the pace of the guys up front. I’m looking forward to making that step tomorrow and then taking a lot of information back to Europe.

Kervin Bos – Ten Kate Racing team manager: “It was a sensational season opener but for us it’s still mixed feelings. We saw a jump start from several riders but the FIM couldn’t deal with that, it took them three laps so it was too late to do anything about it. That is shameful and not correct that it happened like that.

Our race went well and until the seventh lap, Stefano was in the front when he suffered a tyre problem. Fortunately, by then the pit window was open allowing us to change, albeit earlier than planned. As a result he consciously chose to manage the tyres in the second part and go for second place, he did not want to take the risk as it was not clear what had happened to the first tyre. It is unfortunate that the race went the way it did because there was clearly more in it, given his speed he showed. We need to learn from this and see what we can improve for tomorrow’s race.

Glenn had a good start but collided with another rider which basically ended the race immediately. We repaired the bike and then sent him back out onto the track to see if he could set another fast lap time with regards to tomorrow’s starting grid. We will focus with him tomorrow to find a good rhythm and try to score a few points.”

Sunday Race Two

Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing failed to score at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday. In a delayed and shortened Race 2, Stefano Manzi crashed and Glenn van Straalen crossed the finish line in twentieth place after still having to take a Long Lap penalty.

Weather conditions at Phillip Island on Sunday afternoon were favourable with plenty of sunshine and pleasant temperatures. However, the race started two hours later than planned due to a large oil spill that had been put on the track in one of the national races. In addition, the race distance was shortened to nine laps which meant that a pit stop was no longer mandatory.

Because of his third lap time in Race 1, Stefano Manzi was allowed to start from third on the grid and he held that position until halfway through the race. The Italian had to save his tyres in order to be able to attack in the closing stages, but it did not come to that. In the sixth lap he slid off the track, ending his chances of a podium finish. A lap later it went wrong again so he decided to bring his machine to the pits.

Glenn van Straalen was going to have a tough race anyway because of a Long Lap penalty he had to take after the incident in Race 1. The Dutchman executed it on the second lap after which he eventually managed to move up from 24th to 20th position.

Glenn van Straalen – P20: “We had to wait a long time today until we could finally start. As I still had to run a Long Lap penalty from yesterday, it was inconvenient for us that the race was shortened to nine laps, this did not give us enough time to make up places again and go for a good result. We finished the weekend with some laps that were important for myself at least but we are definitely not where we need to be yet. We struggled in qualifying this weekend and you take that with you throughout the weekend. I’m looking forward to returning to Europe and taking a step forward there.”

Stefano Manzi – DNF: “I am super disappointed about today because this was not what I was hoping for. It’s hard that we leave the first round of the championship with a 30 points’ deficit. Now we go back home and we’ll work as hard as possible to be strong for the next race in Barcelona next month.”

Kervin Bos – Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing team manager: “It was a very eventful day at Phillip Island and unfortunately we were unable to finish the weekend the way we had hoped. The big question mark was what would happen with the tyres and race distance, in the end nothing was changed about that prior to the race. After that, we had a lot of delays and the question was whether we could still race at all. We eventually did and that became a race in which Stefano had to ride with the handbrake on. Unfortunately, that eventually resulted in a crash and that meant the end of his race. The potential is huge and I am sure we will score well this year, this was just a day to quickly forget.

Glenn had a Long Lap penalty to deal with after yesterday’s incident and then you know that in a nine-lap race it’s going to be very difficult to get a good result out of that. Therefore it wasn’t a great day for either side of the pit box. We are going to learn from this and make sure we are better in Barcelona, we know we can score well with both riders. We have also seen once again that we have a very strong team and I am proud of what we all put together. The results were not what we wanted but the potential gives a lot of confidence that we are in for a great season.”

The next round of the World Superbike championship will be held the weekend of 22-24 March at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Posted on Monday, February 26th, 2024 in News

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