Cluzel loses sponsor but not pace

By Gordon Ritchie -

World Superbikes

 20 June 2014 16:38

Despite the recent split between Yakhnich Motorsport and the official MV Agusta Reparto Corse team in WSB and WSS, Jules Cluzel took his factory F3 675 to the fastest time in the opening two practice WSS sessions at Misano, holding off championship leader Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda) by only 0.126 seconds.

The tight nature of the 4.226km circuit, near the numerous holiday resorts on the Adriatic coast of Italy, led to some surprise results on the first day. The fact that Misano was not on the calendar last year also contributed to some unusual first day finishes.

Ratthapark Wilairot (Core PTR Honda) was third fastest on a circuit he knows well from his previous GP experiences, while former Misano WSS race winner Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Mahi Racing Team India) placed fourth, just over a quarter of a second behind Cluzel.

Jack Kennedy (CIA Insurance Honda) was ninth and 0.763 behind Cluzel on his first visit to the Misano circuit, while British rider Kev Coghlan (DMC Panavto-Yamaha) suffered a first session crash, which contributed to him being 13th overall when he would normally start higher up the order after day one.

One more free practice and then the single qualifying session on Saturday afternoon take place before Sunday’s 19-lap WSS race.