IRRC Imatranajo: Pekkanen, Kostamo Set Free Practice Pace

IRRC Imatranajo: Pekkanen, Kostamo Set Free Practice Pace

IRRC Supersport FP1:

Opening IRRC Supersport proceedings at Imatranajo, went largely to the form book. Fastest was former British Supersport exponent, event wildcard Pauli Pekkanen.

Pekkanen was one of only two racers to go sub 2 minutes, registering a times sheet topping lap time of 1 minute 58.470 seconds.

Joining Pekkanen in dipping under 2 minutes was impressive Imatranajo newcomer Petr Najman (1.59.471).

Championship leader Jorn Hamberg (2.00.173) finished third quickest, just over half a second faster than lead Championship pursuer Marek Cerveny (2.00.739).

Twice TT winner Gary Johnson (2.02.462), competing on a ten year-old Triumph steed, placed an extremely creditable sixth fastest.

Team Schleizer Dreieck’s Thomas Walther (2.01.213) placed P5 on time screens whilst positions seventh through to tenth were occupied by Rico Vetter (2.02.947), Sebastian Frotscher (2.03.068), Anssi Koski (2.03.508) and Romain Cleaz-Savoyen (2.03.563).

IRRC Superbike FP1:

As within the aforementioned IRRC Supersport practice session, the decent conditions all-round persisted for IRRC Superbike runners.

Home favourite Erno Kostamo proved the one to beat this evening, setting throughout steadfast pace.

Underlining his status as Finland’s current top real road racer, his best lap time of 1 minute 54.134 seconds, enabled him to finish fastest by just over 0.4 of a second, over IRRC Superbike Championship leader Vincent Lonbois (1.54.535).

Top Yamaha pilot Lonbois late turn of pace to go second quickest, nudged Swiss ace Lukas Maurer (1.54.856) back to P3.

Almost a second down on Maurer’s pace, finishing fourth quickest was German IRRC legend Didier Grams (1.55.837).

IRRC Supersport Champion Pierre Yves Bian (1.55.900) was just 0.063 behind Grams whilst sixth fastest was top Imatranajo debutant, 21 times TT winner Michael Dunlop.

Steadily getting to grips with Finland’s most famous race circuit, Dunlop went onto lap below 1 minute 57 seconds, lapping at 1.56.350 seconds.

Completing today’s top ten speediest IRRC SBK pilots were Joey Den Besten (1.56.999), Patrick Hoff (1.57.398), Eddy Ferre (1.57.496) and Markus Karlsson (1.57.620).

Photo credit: Robby Repsol

Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou

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