#RiminiWorldSBK Day 3 roundup: World Superbike, World Supersport, WorldSSP300
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) has taken his second win of the weekend at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli after a scorcher of a race around the Rimini track. Race two in the Pirelli Riviera Di Rimini Round provided a 21 lap thriller, with countless overtakes and the battle going down to the wire under the sunny skies. With all riders being forced to dig deep to hold their position to the line, it was Rea who came out on top, beating Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) with three laps to go.
Just one race away from a two month summer break and everyone eager to impress, the opening laps provided edge of your seat racing, which never stopped. Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) made a blistering run at the lights, flying into first place, but a technical issue ended the Spaniard’s race just two laps later. Meanwhile, Rea jumped straight up to fifth, but was then caught up with Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) on the second lap.
With van der Mark making the most of the open track ahead, Rea was left to fight through, with both factory Ducati bikes in his sights. Rea’s duel with Davies saw the defending champion coming out in front after an ambitious move through Turn 14. Then, with both Rea and Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) finding their way past Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), the pair engaged in an electric battle all through laps seven and eight, trading places several times for second.
Ultimately, Rea prevailed again, and began his hunt of the race leader, now over a second ahead and twelve laps around Misano to go. The Kawasaki rider finally caught van der Mark with five laps to go – and so did Melandri, hanging on to the ZX-10RR’s pace. The trio went into the closing laps with less than half a second separating them. With the Ducati suddenly breathing down both their necks, Rea chose to make his move with three laps to go. A feint down Turn 1, a stunning pass down the inside through 2, and making it stick on the exit from the Variante del Parco: Rea first, and perhaps his hardest win of the season secured.
While he couldn’t fight back in the remaining turns, van der Mark had just enough left in the tank to defend his position from Melandri, taking second place at the flag and guaranteeing a fourth consecutive weekend with a Yamaha bike on the podium. Melandri couldn’t repeat his phenomenal win from last season’s Race Two, but a return to the rostrum in third will have left both the Ducati rider and the home fans ecstatic after a few difficult races.
Davies finally crossed the line in fourth, not quite able to consistently match the front pace. A difficult end after a promising start for the Welshman, who now enters the summer break 89 points behind Rea. He finished ahead of Sykes in fifth.
After a race to forget yesterday, Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) bounced back brilliantly in sixth despite having to start from the back of row 4. He endured a late charge from Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) in seventh, who managed to beat his teammate Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) this time around, with the Irish rider finishing eighth.
Loris Baz (GULF Althea BMW Racing Team) came back from his early crash in yesterday’s event with a ninth position, with Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) closing the top ten. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) was the best independent rider in Rimini, taking eleventh.
The excitement of the home crowds at the Pirelli Riviera di Rimini Round hit fever pitch on Sunday as Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) took his first win of the 2018 FIM Supersport World Championship in brilliant fashion, ending a twelve-year run with no Italian victors at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in WorldSSP. The home delight was twofold, as Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) claimed his best finish of the season in second, with championship leader Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) completing the podium.
At the lights Jules Cluzel (NRT) shot out like a cannonball, moving ahead of pole sitter Caricasulo before the entry to Turn 1. The stunning start from the French rider came with an added bonus, as championship rivals Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) and Cortese tumbled down to sixth and eighth, respectively, while Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) crashed out one lap later.
Any jubilation for Cluzel was short-lived, however, as in a matter of seconds in lap four he was pushed back to third in consecutive corners by Caricasulo and the rising De Rosa. The French rider’s woes were compounded two laps later, as Cortese, now the fastest man on track, found his way smoothly past the NRT bike.
The top three would remain unchanged from that point forward, despite the gap between first and third never rising to more than a couple of seconds. Caricasulo didn’t wilt under the pressure, keeping the MV Agusta of De Rosa at bay and confirming a superb return to the top spot of the rostrum. He also moves above both his fellow countryman and teammate Mahias in the championship standings, with all three battling inside one point and still in view of the championship lead.
Despite not finding the pace to match Caricasulo in the second half of the race, De Rosa takes home his best-ever result in WorldSSP and a fifth consecutive podium, a huge boost for him going into the summer break. Amidst a sea of Yamaha machines, the Italian’s efforts aboard the MV Agusta cannot be overstated.
With his third place, Cortese increases his championship lead to five points over Cluzel, who finally crossed the line in fourth position after riding alone most of the latter stages of the race.
Krummenacher made it to the flag in fifth place, thurteen seconds off the race winner, with Anthony West (EAB antwest Racing), a former Misano race-winner, scoring his joint-best performance of the season in sixth, ahead of Kyle Smith (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) in seventh and again in the top ten after changing team before Brno.
Eighth position went to wildcard Lorenzo Gabellini (G.A.S. Racing Team), his first points finish in WorldSSP after also racing at Imola. Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) made a phenomenal start to his race, moving up to fifth inside the first lap, but by the end he could only make it to the flag in ninth. Ayrton Badovini (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) was the fourth and final home rider inside the top ten, taking tenth spot.
Manuel Bastianelli (PRODINA IRCOS Team) has scored a stunning first win in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, finding his way to the front near the end and just defending the top spot from a last-lap blitz by Mika Pérez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team). Just 0.036 seconds separated the pair, with Manuel González (Pertamina Almería BCD Junior Team by MS) taking his first podium finish in third.
After three races dominated from lights to flag by the respective pole sitters, the WorldSSP300 championship returned to a trademark last lap scrap at Misano, with the top fifteen riders separated by just three seconds. Several riders pushed amidst the chaos around the 4.226 kilometre track, but it was ultimately the wildcard who prevailed, to the enjoyment of the Misano crowds.
Bastianelli rode full-time in WorldSSP300 last season, taking just four points across nine races, but here at the Riviera di Rimini Round the Italian turned up spectacularly for his home fans.
Mika Pérez had not taken a podium since the opening round of the season, but he overcame the huge group of riders in the mix as well as a six-place grid penalty to rise to the rostrum in second. Pérez chose to attack in the final lap, gaining several places and coming just metres away from making it to the top.
Fifteen-year-old González joined the two Kawasaki bikes on the podium with his best WorldSSP300 result, beating Luca Bernardi (Team Trasimeno) to the line for third.
Luca Grunwald (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team) did more than damage limitation in his climb from eighteenth on the grid, making it to the flag in fifth after even managing to lead the race. A spectacular fightback from the German, who now moves to second in the championship, 16 points behind Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team). The Spaniard was tenth on Sunday, but her lead remains nearly intact after both Borja Sánchez (ETG Racing) and Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki) retired from the race.
Maria Herrera (BCD Yamaha MS Racing) managed her best WorldSSP300 result with sixth place, with pole-sitter Galang Hendra Pratama (BIBILION YAMAHA MOTOXRACING) falling to seventh despite making a phenomenal start.