Team 109 On Front Row In Misano, Unlucky In Races
Team 109 achieved their first World Championship front row start of the 2023 FIM Supersport World Championship season thanks to the efforts of their Italian rider Alessandro Zanca who shone in qualifying in front of 71,000 fans at his home circuit – Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
Zanca, who put in a solid opening day on Friday rode superbly on Saturday morning to secure the central grid slot on row one for the two fifteen lap encounters. Juan Pablo Uriostegui, who was making his debut at the iconic Italian venue qualified twenty-fourth after using FP1 and FP2 on Friday to find his feet at one of the most iconic circuits on the calendar.
A great start for Uriostegui saw him immediately gain places in race one before a crash put paid to his chances of a strong race finish. The team wish him a speedy recovery after it was discovered he had broken his foot in the spill. Alessandro Zanca remained in the lead group before being shuffled back to thirteenth at the flag.
With Juan Pablo side lined for race two all eyes were on the #19 of Zanca and the talented teen didn’t disappoint. A strong start saw him hit the front, much to the delight of the fans that were packed into every possible vantage point including the Paddock Show which saw hundreds of fans cheering each time he took the lead or recovered a position. With the leading group so tightly bunched, contact between one or more riders was always on the cards and unfortunately for the team and for Alessandro he was put off the track at one of the fastest corners of the circuit. Re-joining the race, despite losing positions he ultimately was forced to retire.
The team now focuses on the round four of the series, also in Italy, at the Imola circuit in mid-July.
“The weekend in Misano ended without the results I think that we deserved but the whole team worked really well and despite not achieving what we all know is possible I am taking a lot of positives. The round started in a good way with me being able to make some solid laps and in Superpole I qualified on the front row of the grid in P2. I was really happy and confident for what we could achieve. In race one I gave my best, but we had a small problem but nevertheless we brought it home in one piece. The team did an amazing job overnight and I was fastest in warm up and then in race two was leading and fighting for the victory when sadly I made contact with another rider and the race was then over for me. I am so sorry, not just for me but for the whole team because I think we could have been on the podium but that’s racing. The crowd was amazing all weekend and it was a pleasure to race at home. Thanks again to the team and see you all in Imola.”
Juan Pablo Uriostegui:
“It was my first time in Misano and so in FP1 I tried to learn the track as quickly as I could, and I felt that we made a good set-up for the bike. In FP2 I improved my lap times and was feeling more confident with every lap. I qualified twenty-fourth in the Superpole, but I made a great start and was moving forward quite nicely each lap but unfortunately, I crashed and broke my foot. I was declared unfit for race two, but I am looking forward to being back on the bike as soon as possible. I want to thank the team for all their work.”
Paul Tobin – Team 109 Team Principal:
“It was an up and down weekend. It started off well, Alessandro was already quick from the off, but Juan Pablo also impressed me, especially in FP2, considering him never having been to Misano before. He learns circuits quickly which will continue to help him as the season progresses. Superpole gave us our best ever qualifying position with Alessandro finishing a superb second, much to the delight of his home fans and us. Juan Pablo was unable to find the tow he needed which is sometimes how it goes in the grid shootout. Saturday’s race started well and although he didn’t make a great start, Alessandro was pushing hard in the lead group for most of the race. We had a small issue but overall, we were satisfied with how he rode all things considered. We tried something in warm up on Sunday which enabled him to top the session which was a huge confidence boost and good for us to see our name at the top of the times. Unfortunately, he had a coming together with another rider which ended what could easily have been a podium finish. He rode superbly, leading from the start with a good strategy and so for him to not come away with the result he deserved is frustrating, but he once again showed his speed. Juan Pablo suffered a fall which resulted in a broken foot. We all wish him a speedy recovery. I’d like to thank all our sponsors and supporters and look forward to seeing the Italian fans again when we race at Imola in July.”