Italian youngster Kevin Manfredi has dominated the opening free practice of the PATA European Junior Cup powered by Honda at a very wet and cold Assen circuit in northern Holland today.
Manfredi, who finished the opening round in Aragon in 9th, looked smooth and comfortable from the start and was never headed throughout the 45 minute session eventually securing over a second advantage from his nearest rival.
With conditions improving slightly as the session went on the times began to tumble as did some of the riders all thankfully without injury. James Flitcroft was the first to fall and was unable to post a lap time as a result. Sam Croft, Connor London, Riccardo Filippini, Alex Magliocchetti and Miguel Aranda also fell victim to the tricky conditions.
This year’s championship sees the riders competing on equal CBR500ccR Honda machines and so evenly matched are both the bikes and riders that even the terrible riding conditions it was impossible to determine the final positions behind Manfredi.
Hungarian Peter Sebestyen moved up to 2nd with a few minutes remaining, while Charly Eberhard from Belgium followed suit by claiming 3rd. 4th overall went to Guillaume Raymond from France, while Spain’s Augusto Fernandez and Swede Jesper Hubner completed the top 6.
Josh Harland looked like he had found some of his pre-season form posting the 7th quickest time of the day just ahead of Adrien Pittet (8th), Illan Fernandez (9th) and Javi Orellana who completed the top ten.
Jake Lewis who triumphed in Aragon by the narrowest of margins was 11th today, while Michael Canducci from Italy who also made the podium in Aragon could only manage 19th overall.
Female racers Sabrina Paiuta from Brazil and Amelie Demoulin from France were 30th and 31st respectively aboard their CBR500cc machines.
Qualifying is scheduled to take place in much better conditions tomorrow at 1330 local time.