Manzi second in challenging first World Supersport race at Donington Park, Navarro finishes 12th
Stefano Manzi finished second in the first World Supersport race at Donington Park on Saturday afternoon. The Italian rode a rock-solid race from third starting position but it soon became clear that second place would be the maximum result. Jorge Navarro finished 12th in the first race of the weekend.
The sixth round of the FIM Supersport World Championship began on Friday with changeable weather conditions at Donington Park. In the first practice session, Stefano Manzi set the fastest lap time on a dry track, which would also end up being the fastest time of the day. In the second practice session, it was Jorge Navarro who set the pace on wet asphalt.
As a result, the preparation for qualifying and the first race was not optimal for Ten Kate Racing. Nevertheless, both riders managed to set impressive lap times in the Superpole session with Manzi securing third as a starting position for both races and Navarro 11th.
Thanks to an aggressive opening lap, Manzi managed to move up immediately from third on the grid to second position. The Italian rode a very strong pace but his opponent had already built up a defining margin that he was unable to close. With that, second place was a very creditable result for the 24-year-old rider.
Navarro struggled a bit more with the fast pace and for most of the race was riding in a group where there was a tough battle taking place. In the end he crossed the finish line in twelfth place, scoring important points for Ten Kate Racing.
Stefano Manzi – P2: “It was quite a good race. I made a good start and in the opening lap I was fast immediately. It was not a race with a lot of battling, everyone in front was able to ride a very strong pace. My pace was also quite good because I was able to do many laps under my qualifying lap time. We need to improve something for tomorrow because we are missing a bit compared to the larger capacity bikes, in this track we struggle a bit more than expected with that. We will try to find something in the warm-up session and hopefully that will help us in the race.”
Jorge Navarro – P12: “Today was a difficult day for us. I wasn’t able to ride in the way I wanted to, I couldn’t extract the maximum from the bike. We are getting closer to the front but at the moment we cannot seem to find that little bit extra. We need to focus on what we need to improve for tomorrow and I am sure we will be able to perform better. The team did a great job today and I’m sure they will help me to get a better result tomorrow.”
Kervin Bos – Ten Kate Racing team manager: “With Stefano’s performance today we can be more than satisfied, the pace he showed in the race was incredibly fast. At the moment, he and Nicolò Bulega are on a higher level. I’m sure we can close the gap to the competition tomorrow, as always we can make a little step from Saturday to Sunday. Jorge could not show his true potential today and we have to see where that comes from, hopefully we can turn the tide with him. I’m looking forward to racing again tomorrow.”
Manzi fifth in hectic Race 2 at Donington Park despite crash, Navarro 11th
Stefano Manzi finished fifth in the second World Supersport race at Donington Park on Sunday afternoon. The Italian was fighting for the lead but made a small mistake and crashed, despite that and a Long Lap penalty he still crossed the finish line in fifth place. Jorge Navarro was 11th in this second race after some adjustments were made to his bike.
The race started well for Manzi who held third place after the start and moved up to second position on the second lap with a nice overtaking manoeuvre. The chase was on for the leader and the pace was very high with the Italian unfortunately losing the front on the fifth lap. The damage on the bike was minimal which allowed him to continue his way, which the 24-year-old rider did in very impressive fashion.
With his much better pace, Manzi soon moved back up to sixth position but he received a Long Lap penalty for an overtake he had made. Once again, the Italian had to come from behind after which he eventually crossed the finish line in fifth place, limiting the damage. Manzi is second in the championship with 192 points, 55 points behind compatriot Nicolò Bulega.
Jorge Navarro rode a good opening phase before losing several positions midway through the race. Eventually, the Spaniard came back and managed to stay ahead of the riders in his group. With eleventh position he scored important points again for Ten Kate Racing, in the championship Navarro is ninth.
Stefano Manzi – P5: “The day started well, we found something in warm-up which helped us to improve our pace. In the race I made a good start and got up to second place, then I was catching the leader. I was on the limit and lost the front in Turn 11 which caused a small crash, luckily I was able to pick up the bike quickly and continue. After that I got a Long Lap penalty for an overtake I made, in the end we finished in fifth place. Usually I wouldn’t be happy with that but with the race I had it’s not a bad result.”
Jorge Navarro – P11: “Today we did a step forward. We changed quite a lot of things going into this race in order to get me more comfortable on the bike. Lap after lap I felt I understood the bike better so we made a good step. Now we need to keep improving from here, it is a shame that the position doesn’t reflect the work that we have done. However I’m feeling positive and I am already looking forward to the next round.
Kervin Bos – Ten Kate Racing team manager: “Mixed feelings after this race. Stefano showed again that he is one of the best riders of this class, he squeezed everything out of the material. It was a real shame that he made a small mistake but when you are under the lap record in terms of lap times then something like that can happen. He is by far the fastest Yamaha rider and I believe something needs to change in terms of regulations in this championship. Jorge had a positive result today and I hope he can continue to build up his speed this season. Now we will focus on Imola, a circuit that will offer a new challenge for both riders.”