The action of the FIM Supersport World Championship ended in a thrilling way at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the Hyundai N Catalunya round as Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team) claimed an incredible victory with just 0.021 seconds ahead on Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) in Race 2, while Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) made sure that the three manufacturers were represented on the podium.
NCÜ IN MOTION
Turkish star Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) played a major role in the early stages of the 18-lap battle as he moved over Randy Krummenacher (CM Racing) and Gonzalez to take the lead after leaving of tenth place. The head swing came at the start of Lap 4 as he passed Gonzalez on the brakes in the right turn of Turn 1.
At the start of Lap 6, Krummenacher and Öncü got as close as possible, which slowed the pair down on Turn 1, allowing Gonzalez to regain the lead in the race with Krummenacher also overtaking Öncü. A lap later, De Rosa had passed Öncü as well as Krummenacher to move up to second place. Öncü’s fight for the podium ended on lap 8 at turn 5 as the Turkish rider got off his bike, joining the race in 29e place then bringing his bike back to the pits.
THE BATTLE FOR LEAD
The Öncü incident allowed the leading group to fracture a bit, but there were still four riders to fight for the victory, De Rosa being able to join Gonzalez lap after lap but Gonzalez being able to defend the position on the brakes. On lap 13, De Rosa made a move stick on Gonzalez at turn 4 to take the lead, with Krummenacher and Tulli still fighting for the podium. Gonzalez lost time at the start of lap 14 when he was wide at turn 1 and fell behind Krummenacher and Tuuli but remained in the leading group although he returned to the podium on the next lap with a move to the Finnish pilot Tuuli. Gonzalez recovered from a wide run passing Krummenacher for second place before aiming for De Rosa. On the last lap, Gonzalez pledged for the race victory and despite the Italian’s best efforts, he was unable to regain the lead.
This meant that Gonzalez took his second WorldSSP victory and his fifth WorldSSP podium while De Rosa returned to second place behind Gonzalez, his second podium in the Catalonia round; just 0.021 seconds behind Gonzalez as they crossed the finish line. Tuuli clinched his first podium since Magny-Cours 2017 with third place after a Krummenacher stoppage on the last lap; only 0.074s between the first three.
WIN A FINISHED TOP
Marcel Brenner (VFT Racing) had his best result of the season with a fifth place as he won a big score for VFT Racing, Federico Caricasulo (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) completing the top six as the Italian rider finished just one second behind Swiss rider Brenner.
Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) finished seventh in a weekend where he had the chance to close the gap with Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) in the championship standings. With Aegerter not competing at Barcelona, Odendaal had the opportunity to close the league lead by 62 points but only managed to take a 17 point gain from Aegerter’s lead, now with a 45-point lead. Odendaal is ahead of Phillip Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in eighth place. Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing) tied his best WorldSSP result with ninth place, ahead of Patrick Hobelsberger (Bonovo MGM Action) who completed the top ten.
Estonian rider Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) claimed 11e place as his return from injury continued to accelerate, finishing three tenths behind Matteo Patacca (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) in 12e place. Leonardo Taccini (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) finished in a solid 13e place in front of Simon Jespersen (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha); Jespersen crossed the line in 13e place but was demoted one place for a track boundary violation on the last lap. Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) won the final with 15 pointse place, just 0.033s behind Jespersen.
Federico Fuligni (VFT Racing) narrowly missed the points half a second behind Sebestyen, while One Event rider Daniel Valle (Yamaha MS Racing) led the trio of Yamaha MS Racing riders between 17e and 19e; Valley in 17e with Unai Orradre in 18e and Marc Alcoba in 19e. Vertti Takala (Kallio Racing) completed the top 20.
Andy Verdoïa (GMT94 Yamaha) was declared unfit after an incident in Race 1 with Eduardo Montero Huerta (DK Motorsport), where both were taken to the medical center. Verdoïa was diagnosed with a sprained right ankle and bruised right ankle and knee, while Montero Huerta was diagnosed with a lumbar contusion, although he was able to compete in Race 2 after being reassessed on Sunday. morning, although he brought his bike to the pits about halfway to retire from the race. WorldSSP Challenge rider Kevin Manfredi (Altogo Racing Team) did not start the race. Luigi Montella (Chiodo Moto Racing) returned his bike to the pits after a technical problem at the end of lap 2, while his WorldSSP Challenge compatriot Stéphane Frossard (Moto Team Jura Vitesse) suffered a technical problem on the fifth lap at the turn 4. Christoffer Bergman (Wojcik Racing Team) returned his bike to the pit after a crash early in the race as the Swedish rider was retiring from the race. Rookie Bill van Eerde (IXS-YART Yamaha) also retired from racing as he returned his bike to the pits after a technical issue.
A few laps from the finish, Ludovic Cauchi (GMT94 Yamaha) and Loïc Arbel (Andotrans Team Torrento) had a collision at turn 10, forcing the two riders to leave the race. Arbel and Cauchi were both taken to the medical center after the accident for an exam, and Cauchi was diagnosed with a contusion to his left wrist.
The top six from WorldSSP Race 2, full results here:
1 Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team)
2. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) + 0.021s
3. Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) + 0.095s
4. Randy Krummenacher (CM Racing) + 0.568s
5. Marcel Brenner (VFT Racing) + 6.159s
6. Federico Caricasulo (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) + 7.137s
Best lap: Can Öncü (Kawasaki) in 1’45.486s New lap record
Best WorldSSP Challenge rider: Federico Caricasulo (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing)
1 Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) 302
2. Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) 257
3. Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team) 203
4. Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) 197
5. Luca Bernardi (CM Racing) 161
6. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) 140
Watch the battle for the WorldSSP title unfold using the WorldSBK VideoPass!