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WorldSBK

WorldSBK By October 4, 2021

Razgatliglu, Van Der Mark and Rea share victories at Portimao

WorldSBK Race 1: Razgatlioglu battles Redding, as Rea crashes out

The top three in the Championship battled it out in Portimao with Toprak Razgatlioglu extending his Championship lead to 45 points

Portugal’s opening race in the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship could rate as the season’s most defining to date. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) raced to victory, his first in WorldSBK at Portimao and his 11th of the year, whilst Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) crashed at speed from the lead of the race at turn 15. The Championship gap is now 45 points with Toprak leading the way, whilst Rea loses more ground.

In what was one of the most intense opening five laps of the season, neither Razgatlioglu or Rea wanted to give an inch as they duelled hard. On lap two, Rea put a superb pass on Razgatlioglu at turn 11 but Toprak held on at turn 12, firing his Yamaha back through. Rea tried again at turn 13 but ran slightly wide, whilst Razgatlioglu scythed back through, colliding with Rea. The fight continued as Rea had a huge moment at turn one on lap five before getting under Razgatlioglu again at turn 11, whilst race leader Scott Redding ran wide at turn 13, with Rea coming back through to the lead. Then, disaster, as Rea tucked the front at turn 15, his Kawasaki ZX-10 RR barrelling through the gravel.

At the front, Scott Redding was leading the way until Toprak took back the lead at turn 1 with just less than four laps to go, and whilst Redding continued to try and retaliate, he couldn’t keep Toprak at bay. Razgatlioglu delivered Yamaha a first Portimao win since Marco Melandri in 2011.

Speaking after the race, Razgatlioglu said:

“It wasn’t an easy race because Jonny and Scott were very strong. After Jonny’s crash, we are fighting with Scott; we are fighting with both of them, but I am happy, because we win again. Some corners, I wasn’t very strong because I felt some electronic problems but tomorrow, I think we will improve. We will come back again stronger, every race we are improving and also yesterday, I didn’t feel very good whereas now, the bike is much better.”

Talking about the battle with Redding, Razgatlioglu said that his strategy to wait until the closing stages of the race paid dividends:

“It wasn’t easy because he is strong. We are fighting again but after I understood that we are together, I decide to wait for the last two laps. In the last two laps, I try my best again and we made it.”

Over at Kawasaki, Jonathan Rea was taken to the medical centre, where he was diagnosed with multiple contusions and a left elbow abrasion. He will be reviewed on Sunday morning prior to Warm-Up. Up until race one, it had been a sparkling weekend for Rea, who said on Friday that he ‘felt like he had his bike back’ and that he could ‘do things on the bike that he’d not been able to do all year’. Topping Friday and Saturday morning practice sessions, Rea was second on the grid after Superpole, but couldn’t convert it in racing.

Talking at the end of the day about his crash and the race until that point, Rea commented:

“I am relatively OK, just a little bit beaten up because when I crashed and hit the gravel, I started tumbling. Apart from some bumps and bruises, relatively, I am quite fine. I can’t say ifs and buts because I crashed; I know my pace was good but inside the battle, it wasn’t good because every time I had track position, there was a bike on the inside releasing the brake. I couldn’t really make any rhythm. When Scott made the mistake at Turn 13, I thought ‘OK, I have to go’ because if I can’t go on the straight with some advantage, then I’ll be in the battle again. Congratulations to the guys at the front, I felt like I could’ve been there battling because my pace all weekend has been quite strong. I have another chance tomorrow, so we’ll try to do a good job.”

Adding in his media debrief on Saturday and reflecting on the battle with Razgatlioglu, Rea expressed that he’s ready for the challenge, even if Toprak can be without “consideration” when going for an apex:

“I don’t want to put s**t on Toprak about how he rides, because he is clearly doing a good job and he’s not even at his limit. However, the guy he’s passing is on their limit with the bike and tyres and the combination of everything.

“I’m ready to fight like that and I’m going to fight like that”

“I don’t want to complain too much; I’m ready to fight like that and I’m going to fight like that. I can shake his hand after that and not complain, but I’m happy to let the brakes off and use him as a berm. That’s pretty much what he did to me at Turn 13; he committed to the pass on the apex. I’m not going to grumble; rubbing is racing. He can train on his kart track in Turkey, but I grew up motocrossing, and that’s also hard.

“Of course, there’s a line and these are big bikes and you can’t just come from miles away to make a pass because you feel brave in yourself that you can stop at the apex. I don’t know if Scott was complaining a lot but I don’t want to cry about it because I get labelled a cry-baby… I can roll my sleeves up to.”

BATTLE FOR THIRD

The fight for third was an ongoing affair throughout the 20-lap encounter with Leon Haslam (Team HRC) starting from third place holding onto that position until around the mid-way point of the race before he dropped positions, with Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) working his way up to third place on lap 12. There was plenty of action between the six riders in contention for a podium, with Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK), Haslam and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) all running wide at turn one at various points of the race.
As the race progressed, Bautista was unable to pull out a gap to the chasing pack with Loris Baz (Team GoEleven) and Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) chasing Bautista, Baz making the move at turn one before van der Mark and Locatelli, still chasing third, made contact at turn five with Locatelli retiring and van der Mark bringing his bike back to the pits; the incident will be investigated after the race by the FIM WorldSBK stewards. With the pair out of contention for the podium, Baz and Bautista battled for third place with the Spaniard coming out on top. At turn 15 on the final lap, Bautista crashed out of the race with Baz inheriting third place, his first podium since his WorldSBK return.

CLAIMING A TOP TEN FINISH

Rinaldi finished the race in fourth place after the incredible battle for third place, with Haslam eventually coming home in fifth place after starting from the front row. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) claimed a solid sixth place, just three tenths behind Haslam in fifth place.
Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) continued his strong rookie campaign with seventh place ahead of Argentinean star Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda) claiming eighth place – his best result of the 2021 campaign. Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) battled up for ninth with Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) claiming tenthh.

SCORING POINTS

Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) missed out on the top ten by just over half-a-second but came home in 11th place, just ahead of Italian Samuele Cavalieri (Barni Racing Team); Cavalieri just a second behind Viñales. 2014 Moto2™ World Champion Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) scored points on his first WorldSBK race onboard Kawasaki machinery, with Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Racing) rounding out the points.

TO NOTE

Loris Cresson (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was the last of the classified riders with the Belgian missing out on a point by just 0.079s. Cresson’s teammate, Lachlan Epis, retired from the race after bringing his bike into the pits, while Gabriele Ruiu (B-Max Racing Team) was also a retirement from the race, along with Rea, Locatelli, van der Mark and Bautista.

WorldSBK Race 1 Podium
  1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK)
  2. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +0.691s
  3. Loris Baz (Team GoEleven) +10.628s

Tissot Superpole Race: Van der Mark claims BMW’s first win in eight years, Rea crashes out at Portimao again

Almost 3,000 days since their last win in 2013, BMW claimed a WorldSBK victory as van der Mark mastered tricky conditions at Portimao

A long wait of 2,994 days is over for BMW after Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) claimed the German manufacturer’s first victory since the Nürburgring 2013 in Race 2, with the Dutch rider mastering difficult conditions at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in the Tissot Superpole Race for the Motul Portuguese Round, while Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) crashed out of the lead for the second consecutive race.

MORE CHAMPIONSHIP TWISTS

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) got the better start of the xhampionship’s lead trio but soon found himself under pressure from Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), with six-time world champion Rea taking the lead on the opening lap.
As the leaders approached turn 13, Rea lost the front of his machine and went off the track, the crash forcing him out of the race for the second consecutive race after his race one crash on Saturday, meaning Rea will start from tenth for race two Sunday afternoon. Razgatlioglu and Redding were the lead duo, but things soon changed in the 10-lap race as Razgatlioglu dropped down through the order while Redding remained clear at the front.

A FIRST BMW M 1000 RR VICTORY

With all the drama out in front, van der Mark was working his way through the field and moved into the lead of the race on lap 4 after taking advantage of Redding running wide at the left-hander hairpin; BMW leading a race for the first time since Phillip Island 2020. He will therefore start race two from first on the grid, ahead of Redding in second.

Loris Baz (Team GoEleven) claimed third place after withstanding the challenge from Leon Haslam (Team HRC), although Haslam did briefly pass Baz before crashing out on lap 8. A second crash for Haslam on lap 9 meant he brought his machine back to the pits, promoting Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) into fourth place.

THE CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER IS SIXTH

Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) was another beneficiary from his teammate’s misfortune to move into fifth place, ahead of championship leader Razgatlioglu in sixth; the Turkish star able to limit his damage in the race after dropping down the order rapidly in the early stages, with Bautista and Razgatlioglu completing the second row alongside Locatelli.

FROM THE THIRD ROW IN RACE 2

Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) continued his streak of top-ten finishes since his podium finish in Catalunya with seventh place, withstanding a charge from Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) with the American star just 0.068s behind Bassani. Irish rider Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was almost two seconds back from Gerloff with ninth as he starts from the third row.

TO NOTE

Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) claimed the first top ten of his WorldSBK career as he finished in tenth place, as the top Kawasaki rider, two seconds clear of Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) in 11th; although both riders will start from their Superpole result as they missed out on a top-nine spot.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was an early retirement in the race after a crash at turn 8, with the Italian rider taken to the medical centre for a check-up. Loris Cresson (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was forced to start from the pitlane but the Belgian rookie retired from the race. Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was a late retirement after the Japanese rookie crashed on lap six.

Tissot Superpole Race Podium
  1. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team)
  2. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +4.140s
  3. Loris Baz (Team GoEleven) +5.479s

WorldSBK Race 2: Rea responds from double Portimao DNF with commanding win as Razgatlioglu crashes out

After two crashes in Portimao, Jonathan Rea claimed victory in race two while championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu crashed out

The rollercoaster venue of the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve provided more ups and downs in the battle for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) responded to two crashes during round 11 with an emphatic victory, as championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) crashed out of the race at turn 15.

ANOTHER TWIST IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP

The start was delayed due to a technical issue when the riders were lining up on the grid, with the delay meaning the race distanced was reduced one lap to 19 laps.
Starting from tenth place, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was on the move from the get-go and was second by the end of the opener, while Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) moved into third place.

Rea made his move for the lead through the fast turn nine left-hander on lap two on Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), relegating the British rider who had led from the start. At the start of lap two, Razgatlioglu passed Rea into turn one before the six-time world champion responded. The trio were battling throughout the opening laps, with both Razgatlioglu and Rea able to take advantage of Redding running wide at turns five and ten on the same lap. Razgatlioglu made a move on Rea down the start-and-finish straight to move into the right-hander of turn one at the start of lap seven, before Rea responded at turn ten. At the end of lap ten, Razgatlioglu crashed at turn 15, the same place Rea did in race one, forcing the championship leader out of the race. Rea went on to take the 110th win and the 210th podium of his career, narrowing the gap in the championship to 24 points. Rea’s victory means both he and Razgatlioglu have scored 25 podiums this season, the first time it has happened in WorldSBK history. The top two in the Championship are also tied with 25 podiums and 11 wins each.

PODIUM BATTLE

At the start of lap 13, Loris Baz (Team GoEleven) moved up into podium contention after his third-place start in race two after overtaking Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) into turn one; Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) had tried to pass both of them but Baz was wise to it, cutting back on the Spanish rider to re-take third place. Two laps later and Bautista looked to make a move through the opening couple of corners with Baz defending and keeping the position. The battle went on through lap 16 and 17 with Bautista looking to make the move into turn one each time and Baz responding into turn two. On lap 18, Bautista looked to make a move on Baz into the turn five hairpin, with Bautista running wide and Baz looking to reclaim the place. Through the exit of the corner, the pair made contact with Bautista coming off his bike and retiring from the race. Baz held on to cross the line in third place, while Locatelli came home in fourth place after withstanding a late surge from fellow Yamaha rider Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) in fifth place. After the race, Baz was sanctioned with a one place position drop, demoting him to fourth place and promoting Locatelli to third; the Italian’s fourth podium of his rookie campaign.

SCORING POINTS…

Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) was sixth after starting from first place, five seconds clear of Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) with the Italian suffering from a right ankle sprain and contusion and a right hip contusion following his Tissot Superpole Race crash. He battled with Leon Haslam (Team HRC) throughout the race with the pair separated by just three tenths at the end of the 19-lap encounter.
Italian rookie Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) continued his strong form with ninth place, after battling with Rea during the open lap of the race, eventually finishing two tenths clear of Eugene Laverty (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) as he scored points again as he continues to stand in for Tom Sykes.
Laverty finished five seconds clear of Leandro Mercado (MIE Racing Honda Team) in 11th place, who was also clear of Spanish rider Isaac Viñales (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) in 12th place. Japanese rookie Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was 13th, just over a second behind Viñales, with Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) and Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action) rounding out the points. Samuele Cavalieri (Barni Racing Team) was the last of the classified runners in 16th place.

TO NOTE

Loris Cresson (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini Racing) was the first retirement of the race after a crash at the start of lap three, with the Belgian rookie taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the incident. Cresson was diagnosed with a concussion and a left knee injury and will be transported to Portimao Hospital for further assessments. Cresson’s teammate, Lachlan Epis, also retired from the race while Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) suffered from technical issues during the early running and brought his bike back to the pits. Wildcard Gabriele Ruiu (B-Max Racing Team) was also a retirement from race two after completing 10 laps.

WorldSBK Race 2 Podium
  1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
  2. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +5.425s
  3. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) +12.289s

Jonathan Rea (after Race 2 win): “I sat on the grid with no pressure. I just wanted to make a really good start. I had such a perfect launch; I was just going forward. It was the best start of my season. From that point, I was able to gain good track position, be clever with my passes and tried to put sectors two and three to good use. I really struggled going down that start straight into the headwind. When I could keep in front for a few laps, I knew that I was trying to keep my rhythm. I saw Toprak was out so that gave me some breathing space, I could really not buck the rhythm, enjoy the race and ride to the pit board. That was a nice feeling.”

WorldSBK Championship Standings After Round 11

  1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) 478 points
  2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 454 points
  3. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 424 points

WorldSSP Race 1: A two-year wait, over: Cluzel claims hard-fought victory in Portimao Race 1

For the first time since San Juan in 2019, Cluzel claimed a WorldSSP victory after withstanding the challenge from all his rivals

The FIM Supersport World Championship race action kicked off on Saturday afternoon at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve with a long-awaited return to the top step for Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) over after the Frenchman claimed a hard-fought win in Race 1 for the Motul Portuguese Round, finishing less than half-a-second clear of his nearest rival.

DRAMA FROM THE START

The drama started from the beginning of the 17-lap race with Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) taking to the front of the field at the start of the race before he lost places in the closing stages of the opening lap, with Turkish star Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) briefly taking the lead of the race, before Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team) and Cluzel came through.

Aegerter found himself dropped down to fourth place but soon found his way back in the podium places as he passed Öncü for third place. On Lap 6, Öncü found himself bundled down the order into sixth place as Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) and Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) came through, while Gonzalez lost the lead of the race and fell down to fifth behind De Rosa and Tuuli.

BATTLING FOR THE WIN

Aegerter made his move for the lead of the race in Cluzel into Turn 1 at the start of Lap 10 with the Swiss rider looking to add to his already-impressive win tally in his rookie campaign, but just a lap later Aegerter was down in fourth place after losing out to Cluzel, Gonzalez and De Rosa into Turn 1. On Lap 13, Tuuli made his move on Aegerter to demote the Championship leader into fifth, while out in front Gonzalez had re-taken the lead of the race at the expense of Cluzel.

At the start of Lap 14, Tuuli was up into the podium places after a move into Turn 1 as Cluzel made his move onto Gonzalez in the latter stages of Lap 14, with Gonzalez responding despite pressure from Tuuli into Turn 1 on Lap 15. Tuuli dropped back from the podium fight in the closing stages, as did De Rosa, with Cluzel making his move at the start of the final lap before holding in to claim his first victory since San Juan 2019, almost two years later. Such was Cluzel’s pace in the closing stages, the French rider was able to smash the lap record on the final lap of the 17-lap battle as he posted a 1’44.783s.

Gonzalez finished in second place ahead of Aegerter in third; the Swiss rider backing out of a move on Gonzalez in the closing stages of the race to extend his Championship lead over Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team). De Rosa claimed fourth place ahead of Tuuli in fifth, with Odendaal rounding out the top six after closing in on the lead group in the second half of the race.

SECURING POINTS

Randy Krummenacher (CM Racing) had been plagued by technical issues all weekend but the race was a different story for the 2019 Champion as he secured seventh place, ahead of Öncü in eighth place. The Turkish rider was just two tenths clear of teammate Philipp Oettl in ninth place, with debutant Yari Montella (GMT94 Racing) claiming a top ten finish on debut; two tenths back from Oettl.

Montella had more than eight seconds to his advantage of Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team). Sebestyen held off the challenge from Patrick Hobelsberger (Bonovo MGM Action) by just two tenths with the German finishing in 12th place. Estonia’s Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) was 13th, a further three tenths back from Sebestyen, with Federico Caricasulo (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) and Ondrej Vostatek (IXS-YART Yamaha) rounding out the points.

JUST MISSING OUT ON POINTS

The margin of whether Leandro Taccini (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) scored points or not was just 0.014s with the Italian missing out by the smallest of margins, with Taccini having a half-a-second margin over Federico Fuligni (VFT Racing) in 17th; Taccini the highest-placed WorldSSP Challenge rider in Race 1. Maria Herrera (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) claimed 18th place ahead of Marcel Brenner (VFT Racing) and Bill van Eerde (IXS-YART Yamaha) rounding out the top 20.

Finnish rider Vertti Takala (Kallio Racing) was 21st, just 0.170s clear of Indonesia’s Galang Hendra Pratama (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) in 22nd place. Hendra Pratama had a clear gap of 14 seconds to his nearest rival behind him, with Stephane Frossard (Moto Team Jura Vitesse) in 23rd. Luigi Montella (Chiodo Moto Racing), Pedro Nuno Romero Barbosa (G.A.P. MOTOZOO Racing by Puccetti) and Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing) rounded out the classified runners; Orradre two laps down after spending some time in the pits in the early stages of the race.

TO NOTE

Christoffer Bergman (Wojcik Racing Team) was declared unfit with a left tibia fracture, while Shogo Kawasaki (G.A.P. MOTOZOO Racing by Puccetti) and Aleix Viu (Yamaha MS Racing) did not take part in Race 1. It was an eventful opening couple of laps for David Sanchis Martinez (WRP Wepol Racing Team) as he was given a double Long Lap Penalty for a jump start, before crashing out of the race at Turn 5. The first retirement of the race was Eduardo Montero Huerta (DK Motorsport) with the Spanish rider crashing at Turn 11 on the second lap.

Kevin Manfredi (Altogo Racing Team) had a spectacular end to the race in the early stages of the race, with the Italian looking to retain his WorldSSP Challenge title across the Portuguese Round. Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) was a late retirement with just a few laps to go due to technical problems at Turn 5.

WorldSSP Race 1 Podium
  1. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha)
  2. Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team) +0.389s
  3. Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.565s

WorldSSP Race 2: On the line: Odendaal beats Cluzel by just 0.011s in photo finish at Portimao

Race 2 in WorldSSP was decided right at the line between Steven Odendaal and Jules Cluzel with just one-hundredth of a second separating the pair

The FIM Supersport World Championship action concluded at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in thrilling style with Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) claiming his fifth win of the season and denying Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) a Portimao double by just 0.011s across the line in Race 2 for the Motul Portuguese Round as the South African cut his gap in the Championship.

ALL CHANGE AT THE START

Although Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) got a good start as the lights went out, Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) was the rider on the move as he battled his way up from seventh to lead at the start of the second lap after passing three riders into Turn 1, with the action on the opening lap setting the tone for the rest of the race.

Soon, a lead group of nine riders formed with Odendaal leading as the seventh lap started before, he was passed by Championship leader Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) into Turn 1, with the lead constantly changing throughout the 17-lap race. As Lap 10 ended, Odendaal ran wide throughout the final corner and lost time and positions, allowing Cluzel to take the lead of the race with the South African dropping down into the mid-pack of the lead group.

The race would go down to the wire between Odendaal and Cluzel, as the lead group fragmented in the second half of the race, with the South African claiming victory for the fifth of his season and his first since Race 1 at Most, ahead of Cluzel who doubled up on podiums at Portimao. The pair were separated by just 0.011s at the end of the 17 laps, with Federico Caricasulo (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) claiming his first podium since 2019 at the same venue. Just 0.364s separated the podium trio at the line.

A CLOSE PODIUM BATTLE

Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team) had been in the lead group but a mistake at Turn 1 dropped him down the order, with Championship leader Aegerter in fifth place as he saw the gap closed in the Championship with Odendaal’s victory, with Gonzalez just six tenths separating Gonzalez and a race victory. Yari Montella (GMT94 Yamaha) claimed sixth place in Race 2 of his debut WorldSSP Round, ahead of 2019 Champion Randy Krummenacher (CM Racing). Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) was another who had been competing in the lead group but a Lap 16 crash at Turn 4 forced him out of the race with just a few laps to go.

German star Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was the lead Kawasaki runner in eighth place, finishing just ahead of Hungary’s Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) in ninth with Sebestyen claiming his best result of the season. Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) got a good start and was competing in the front group in the first half of the race but finished the race in tenth place.

A TITLE WRAPPED UP: The WorldSSP Challenge season concludes…

With Kevin Manfredi (Altogo Racing Team) finishing in 11th place, the Italian rider claimed the WorldSSP Challenge title for 2021 as he retained his crown. Manfredi leapfrogged Caricasulo due to his three points, with Caricasulo only entering the WorldSSP Challenge for two rounds as a replacement for Maria Herrera (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing). David Sanchis Martinez (WRP Wepol Racing) secured points with 12th place ahead of Estonian rider Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) in 13th.

COMPLETING THE TOP 20

Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) had shown strong pace throughout the majority of the race but a late crash at Turn 13 on Lap 16 put the Italian rider down the order, with De Rosa re-joining the race and finishing in 14th place. German rider Patrick Hobelsberger (Bonovo MGM Action) rounded out the points-paying places with 15th place, just 0.003s behind De Rosa.

De Rosa’s fellow Italian rider, Federico Fuligni (VFT Racing) was 16th ahead of teammate Marcel Brenner in 17th, with the Swiss rider battling his way back through the field after an early issue to finish just a second behind his teammate. Ondrej Vostatek (IXS-YART Yamaha) claimed 18th place with Vertti Takala (Kallio Racing) and Bill van Eerde (IXS-YART Yamaha) rounded out the top 20.

TO NOTE

Eduardo Montero Huerta (DK Motorsport) did not take part in the final race of his campaign, as a WorldSSP Challenge competitor, due to a technical issue. Leandro Taccini (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was the first retirement of the race after he had a Lap 3 crash at Turn 13, while Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing) had a spectacular highside at Turn 2 on Lap 4, putting him out of the race; Orradre was taken to the medical centre for a check-up. On Lap 11, Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) crashed out of the race at Turn 5.

WorldSSP Race 2 Podium
  1. Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. Yamaha WorldSSP Team)
  2. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) +0.011s
  3. Federico Caricasulo (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) +0.364s

WorldSSP Championship Standings After Round 11

  1. Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) 354 points
  2. Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) 300 points
  3. Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team) 249 points
Words and photos courtesy of worldsbk.com 
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