#EstorilWorldSBK Sunday roundup: World Superbike, World Supersport, World SSP300
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship’s visit to the Circuito Estoril concluded in sensational fashion as Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) claimed a stunning last-lap victory during the Estoril Round. Rea’s move for the lead came on the last of 21 laps as he ensured all three races were decided on the final lap as he denied Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).
The pair continued the theme of the Estoril Round by battling each other throughout the race but, as in Race 1 and the Tissot Superpole Race, the winner was only decided on the final lap. Bautista initially moved into the lead on Lap 11 as he went from third to first with one move into Turn 1, with Rea responding into Turn 6 a lap later. Rea’s lead did not last long as Bautista responded and held the lead until the final lap of the race.
Rea put in the fastest lap of the race in the closing stages of the race to close the gap to Bautista before he made his move into Turn 7. Both were sliding out of the corner with Bautista just ahead, before Rea went up the inside of the Spaniard into Turn 9 to make the race-winning overtake. Rea had to push hard through the final corner and he almost lost the bike but was able to get it back under control, with Bautista not close enough to overtake. Despite leading the race at points, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) dropped back from the lead duo to settle for third place.
Victory for Rea means he now has 117 WorldSBK victories to his name and 223 podiums, while Kawasaki are now edging closer to the 500-podium milestone; currently sat on 497 after three more podiums this weekend. Second for Bautista means he now has 36 podiums in his WorldSBK career and nine consecutively, while Razgatlioglu has 61 podiums which puts him level with Frankie Chili and James Toseland in WorldSBK.
After a difficult Friday and Saturday, Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was able to haul himself into the podium fight during most of the race, running in third at points, before dropping back to fourth place after running wide at Turn 1 on Lap 14; his joint-best result of the 2022 season so fair. He was ahead of the charging Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) in fifth, with the Italian having to defend from Spanish rookie Iker Lecuona (Team HRC). Lecuona, who lost his front mudguard on the Warm Up lap, was just 0.077s behind Locatelli as Lecuona made it a hat-trick of top six finishes at Estoril.
Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) had an eventful race as he moved up the order to claim a top seven finish, finishing around five seconds clear of Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in eighth place. Spanish rookie Xavi Vierge (Team HRC) claimed ninth place ahead of Xavi Fores (Team Goeleven); Fores securing three points finishes on his return to WorldSBK after receiving a late call-up to replace the injured Philipp Oettl.
Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK – Ducati) had been inside the top ten during the race but dropped back behind Fores in the closing stages of the race but finished as the lead BMW rider in 11th place. He was five seconds ahead of fellow BMW rider Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) while Kohta Nozane (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) claimed his best result of 2022, finishing ahead of Eugene Laverty (Bonovo Action BMW) and Luca Bernardi (BARNI Spark Racing Team) in 15th; the Sammarinese rider once again putting in a late charge to secure points finish.
Christophe Ponsson (Gil Motor Sport-Yamaha) missed out on points by around three seconds as he finished in 16th place, finishing just over a second clear of Marvin Fritz (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) after the German rider stood in for the injured Roberto Tamburini. MIE Racing Honda Team duo Leandro Mercado and Hafizh Syahrin were 18th and 19th respectively, ahead of Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) who rounded out the classified runners.
Isaac Vinales (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) ended his Estoril Round with a crash on Lap 6 ay Turn 2 after getting caught out by a wet patch on the kerb on the exit of Turn 1. After a crash in the Tissot Superpole Race, Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was declared unfit for Race 2 as he joined Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), Tamburini and Oettl on the sidelines.
After a day of drama in the FIM Supersport World Championship, Race 2 delivered more incredible action as Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) claimed another dramatic victory in a rain-impacted race at the Circuito Estoril. Like in Race 1, Aegerter dropped down the order before battling back for his 15th WorldSSP victory during the Estoril Round.
Drops of rain were reported on the Warm Up lap and they continued to impact the race throughout, although all riders did stick with slick tyres during the 18-lap battle. Aegerter’s race winning move came at Turn 9 on Lap 13 as he fought his way past title rival Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team). It means Aegerter has equalled his best winning streak from 2021 with five wins in a row, as well as his ninth consecutive podium. His winning streak last year started from Estoril Race 2, while the same race this year equals that run. Baldassarri would eventually finish in third place after losing out to Kyle Smith (VFT Racing) in the closing stages.
The field condensed as the rain fell in Portugal with a group of 11 riders in the lead group as riders looked to claim an epic victory, as positions changed throughout the order during the encounter in an unpredictable race in WorldSSP. Smith’s second place, after battling from 17th on the grid, earned him his tenth WorldSSP podium and his first since Magny-Cours Race 2 in 2020; another rain-affected race. Baldassarri’s third place gave him his fifth podium of the season and Yamaha’s 330th podium placement in the class.
Italian rookie Yari Montella (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) claimed his career-best WorldSSP result with fourth place, missing out on a podium by just a tenth of a second, but finishing just under a second clear of teammate Can Oncu. Oncu was one of several riders who led the race at one point but dropped back in the latter stages, finishing just 0.047s ahead of Oli Bayliss (BARNI Spark Racing Team); the Australian rookie claiming his best result so far in WorldSSP with sixth.
Another rider who claimed their best result to date was Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) as the reigning WorldSSP300 Champion secured seventh, beating his previous best of eighth which was set in Race 1 at Estoril. Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) finished in eighth place as he looked to fight his way up the order, finishing more than nine seconds clear of Tom Edwards (Yart – Yamaha WorldSSP) who secured his best WorldSSP result. The youngest rider on the grid, Ondrej Vostatek (MS Racing Yamaha WorldSSP), equalled his best result to date with tenth, finishing just 0.019s behind Edwards.
Luca Ottaviani (Altogo Racing Team) finished in 11th place as both wildcards, Italian rider Ottaviani and Australian Edwards, finished in the points. Estonian rider Hannes Soomer (Dynavolt Triumph) claimed 12th place as the Estonian rider finished more than a second back from Ottaviani and six seconds clear of Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) in 13th. Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) continued the theme of his season by battling up the order to claim points with 14th ahead of rookie Ben Currie (Motozoo Racing by Puccetti) who scored his first points of 2022 in his first appearance of the year; finishing just a tenth ahead of Maximilian Kofler (CM Racing) who narrowly missed out on a point but took his best result of his rookie campaign.
Filippo Fuligni (D34G Racing) was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following a Turn 1, Lap 3 crash involving Sander Kroeze (Kallio Racing), who also taken to the medical centre. Fuligni was diagnosed with a pelvic fractured and will be transported to Lisbon Sao Jose Hospital. There was late drama between Simon Jespersen (Kallio Racing) and Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) as the pair came together on Lap 16; both forced to retire. The incident was placed under investigation by the FIM WorldSBK Stewards but no further action was taken.
Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) had a crash on Lap 13 which put him out of the race, although he was able to re-mount and bring his Panigale V2 back to the pits. Unai Orradre (MS Racing Yamaha WorldSSP) retired from the race after a Turn 4 crash on Lap 13, while Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph) pitted early for wet tyres in the early stages of the race, a game which did not pay off for the Italian rookie; the Italian opting to retire after 10 laps.
After he looked to fight for victory, Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) had a technical issue on Lap 6 which meant he did not finish the race, while Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) was a another non-finisher after bringing his bike back to the pits in the early stages of the race.
Following a crash in Sunday’s Warm Up session, Finnish rider Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was declared unfit with an open fracture to his fourth toe and fractures to his second and third toes on his left foot. Andy Verdoia (GMT94 Yamaha) was declared unfit after suffering from concussion after a Warm Up crash, while Leonardo Taccini (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was declared with worsening symptoms of a left shoulder contusion.
The final race of the Estoril Round in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship featured an epic comeback from 31st on the grid as Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) claimed his second career victory during the Estoril Round at the Circuito Estoril, winning by three tenths ahead of his nearest rivals as he made history in Portugal.
Ahead of Race 2 getting underway, both Leader Team Flembbo riders, Di Sora and Sylvain Markarian, were forced to start from the back of the grid due to tyre pressure infringements but Frenchman Di Sora did not let this stop him claiming his second win and tenth podium as he set a record in WorldSSP300 for the lowest starting position to win a race. Progress was swift for Di Sora after he gained 23 positions in the first two-and-a-half laps which put him in the lead group.
Behind Di Sora, Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing) claimed second place for his fourth podium in the class as he looks to kickstart his campaign after a difficult start to the 2022 season. He was joined by Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) in third place as the Italian climbed on the podium for the second time in his career, and the second of his 2022 season.
Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) missed out on a podium by just 0.089s after a strong day for the Italian rider with Sabatucci taking his best result of the season so far, finishing ahead of Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) in fifth. Garcia had crossed the line in sixth place but was promoted one place when Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) was demoted one place for exceeding track limits on the final lap; demoting the Dutchman to sixth behind the 2017 Champion.
French rider Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) finished seventh, just two tenths away from Steeman. MTM Kawasaki dup Yuta Okaya and Ruben Bijman were eighth and ninth respectively with Okaya unable to convert his pole position into a podium finish. German rider Dirk Geiger (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) rounded out the top ten.
Humberto Maier (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) battled his way up the order to claim 11th place, just ahead of Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing); Lehmann unable to continue his 2022 tradition of fighting back into the top ten. Alessandro Zanca (Kawasaki GP Project) was classified in 13th place after he received a one-place penalty for exceeding track limits on the final lap; having initially crossed the line 12th.
Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) was 14th after battling towards the front of the field in the opening stages of the 12-lap race before dropping down the order with Spanish rider Alex Millan (SMW Racing) rounding out the points-paying positions with 15th. In a show of how competitive the WorldSSP300 field is, all 15 riders who took home points were within three seconds of race winner Di Sora.
Gabriele Mastroluca (ProGP Racing) missed out on a point on the run to the line, finishing 0.013s behind Millan, with stand-in rider Petr Svoboda (Accolade Smrz Racing) four tenths back in 17th place. Troy Alberto (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) was 18th ahead of Iker Garcia Abella (Yamaha MS Racing) and wildcard Tomas Alonso (Quaresma Racing Team) who rounded out the top 20.
Bruno Ieraci (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) retired from the race after a Lap 1 crash involving Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) at Turn 6, with Diaz able to re-join the race and finishing in 26th place. The incident was placed under investigation by the FIM WorldSBK Stewards. Harry Khouri (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) was also a retirement from the race, while Fenton Seabright (Vinales Racing Team) and Enzo Valentim Garcia (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) had separate incidents at Turn 10 on Lap 6; with Brazilian Valentim Garcia taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash. Marco Gaggi (Vinales Racing Team) was penalised with a drop of one position after a last-lap track limits infringement, demoting him from 23rd to 24th in the classification.