Race 2 in WorldSSP provided a thrilling race that went down to the wire as Manuel Gonzalez claimed his first ever victory in the class
The final race of the Motul French Round in the FIM Supersport World Championship provided action and drama throughout the race which was Red Flagged on the opening lap, with Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team) taking his first ever victory in WorldSSP, becoming the second-youngest race winner in the class, while Turkish star Can Öncü claimed his maiden podium as he finished in third place behind Championship leader Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha).
Like in Race 1 yesterday, there was an early Red Flag deployed after a crash on the opening lap involving Luca Bernardi (CM Racing), Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) and Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) at the Lycee Complex. Bernardi and Cluzel were taken to the medical centre following the crash, while Aegerter was able to take his bike back to the pits for his team to work on before the restart. Both Bernardi and Cluzel are conscious. Bernardi was diagnosed with a back injury and Cluzel with a head injury and cervical strain; both taken to Nevers Hospital for further assessments. The race after the Red Flag was shortened from 19 laps to 12.
THE BATTLE FOR THE PODIUM
Aegerter was able to re-join the race when the restart got underway and found himself as the de facto pole sitter with Bernardi not in the race, with the Swiss rider getting a good start to move into the head of the field. He found himself under pressure from Spanish rider Gonzalez and Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) with the Turkish star making a move at the Turn 5 Adelaide hairpin as he gained around five positions.
Aegerter soon reclaimed the lead of the race and Gonzalez followed him through on Öncü to move into second before he made a move on Lap 2 on Aegerter into the Nurburgring chicane to take first place, although Championship leader Aegerter responded into the right-hander hairpin of Adelaide a lap later. The battle raged on until the final laps with Aegerter and Gonzalez going elbow-to-elbow right until the Lycee Complex; Aegerter looking to make a move into Turn 15 but Gonzalez was able to cut back to take the lead through the chicane.
Öncü dropped back from the lead two as the race progressed into the clutches of teammate Philipp Oettl, with the pair separated by just 0.195s at the finish line as Öncü claimed his first WorldSSP podium and the first for Turkey since Kenan Sofuoglu at Qatar in 2017. Oettl came home in fourth place as he responded from a difficult Saturday.
COMPLETING THE TOP TEN…
Finnish rider Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) claimed his best result of the 2021 campaign with fifth place after starting from the front row; and his first top five since his victory at Magny-Cours in 2017. Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) claimed sixth place as he battled his way through the field after a difficult Superpole result.
Federico Caricasulo (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) was seventh as his resurgence continued while Andy Verdoïa (GMT94 Yamaha) was eighth on his return to the Championship as the youngest ever race winner secured another top ten finish. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) claimed ninth place ahead of Hungarian rider Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team).
TAKING POINTS HOME
Kevin Manfredi (Altogo Racing Team) was the highest placed WorldSSP Challenge competitor with 11th place, finishing two seconds clear of fellow WorldSSP Challenge competitor Stephane Frossard (Moto Team Jura Vitesse) in 12th. Swedish rider Christoffer Bergman (Wojcik Racing Team) was 13th ahead of 2019 Champion Randy Krummenacher (EAB Racing Team) in 14th. Federico Fuligni (VFT Racing) was the last points scorer in Race 2 as he secured 15th place, resisting the challenge from teammate Marcel Brenner and Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing).
After an impressive debut in WorldSSP Race 1, Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing) had a more difficult Sunday after he crashed at Turn 8 on Lap 4 of 12, dropping the Spanish rider to the back of the grid. He was able to remount his Yamaha machine and made up enough time to challenge Eduardo Montero Huerta (DK Motorsport) for 24th place. Vertti Takala (Kallio Racing) crashed in the closing stages of the races at Turn 1 on Lap 10, forcing the Finnish rider to retire.
The top six following WorldSSP Race 2, full results here:
1. Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGO Team)
2. Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.155s
3. Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +1.438s
4. Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Racing Puccetti) +1.633s
5. Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) +1.964s
6. Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) +2.900s
WorldSSP Challenge winner: Kevin Manfredi (Altogo Racing Team) +8.458
Fastest Lap: Manuel Gonzalez – 1’41.367
1 Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) 302
2. Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) 240
3. Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) 178
4. Luca Bernardi (CM Racing) 161
5. Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGO Team) 158
6. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) 140