The suspense goes up two notches in Imola…
At the head of the Superbike and Supersport championships, Spies and Crutchlow had to drive the point home this weekend at Imola for the 12th round of the World Superbike … but the first was dominated by the Italians and the second fell ! Reports.
Kenan Sofuoglu escaped the grid as quickly as possible and took the lead while Cal Crutchlow, who started from pole, was passed by Massimo Roccoli, Joan Lascorz and Eugene Laverty, his nemesis 50 in the championship !
The five leading men take advantage of Mark Aitchison’s fall in the first loop to outrun the peloton, led by our national Fabien Foret…
At the end of the first straight line, Lascorz gets rid of Roccoli and tries to make the junction with Sofuoglu who rolls at his pace, rather high besides! In this same 2nd lap, Laverty then Crutchlow took advantage of their more powerful mounts to overtake the Italian and his CBR.
At the end of the 3rd lap, the Kawa ‘ends up under the pot of the Honda Ten Kate. Two seconds behind them, the R6 n ° 35 makes short work of the CBR600RR n ° 50: Crutchlow thus increases by three points – for the moment – his lead in the championship against Laverty !
"I could not demonstrate the full potential of the Honda Parkalgar nor mine due to pain in my left arms and legEugene said. According to him, the delayed testing sessions on Friday prevented him from recovering properly: "I have an old arm injury and a problem with my leg that requires me to stretch for a long time". Will the 10 injections in each of its two limbs be enough to finish the race? ?
In the 6th lap, Sofuoglu and his Honda Ten Kate still lead – by 3 tenths, not much – ahead of Lascorz and his Kawasaki. Crutchlow struggles on his Yamaha to get back on the two leading men. So much so that Cal walks away from his big rival in the Championship !
In three laps, the pilot Yam ‘finds himself in the rear wheel of the Ninja n ° 28, itself housed under the pot of the CBR n ° 54 … Warned of Cal’s return, Joan puts pressure on Kenan! Lascorz manages to surprise Sofuoglu on the brakes but has to give him back the reins of the acceleration race.
At the 11th passage in front of the pits, Lascorz is at the level of Sofuoglu. Crutchlow remains in the aspi of the Spanish and also overtakes the Turkish on the first braking. Unfortunately, while the race now seems to have started well, the Kawa ‘engine gives way and spills oil on the track! No information will filter through official statements.
The track marshals wave the red flags and stop the race: there are 9 laps to go and a second start must be given…
Sofuoglu took off perfectly again but Laverty managed to gain the advantage in the first corner by taking a slightly wider trajectory. The Turkish is 2nd on the track … but 1st in total lap times! Lucky for us, Kenan simplifies the situation by completing the first lap in the lead..
Crutchlow is 3rd on the track and 2nd in the race. In front of him, the two Honda are fighting: the Parkalgar and the Ten Kate multiply the passes of arms but after three laps, the n ° 54 definitely takes the advantage and isolates itself in the lead..
Crutchlow has to react and does not take long to do it: the Englishman gets rid of Laverty in the last chicane of the 5th lap and goes hunting for the Turk … To beat him, Cal must not only overtake Kenan but also overtake him. two tenths !
Obviously, the R6 # 35 has the capacity to beat the CBR # 54. From the 6th lap, moreover, Crutchlow overtook Sofuoglu almost in a straight line! The Englishman does not take off his helmet from behind his bubble and moves away from his pursuers visibly.
But Cal Crutchlow does too much … and loses the front in the long straight downhill Acque Mineralli ! "I am very disappointed, we lost 50 points over the season because of DNF (Did Not Finish) ", will calculate the leader of the championship whatever happens on the Imola track.
"It’s nobody’s fault"Cal clarified,"I hit a false dead point and got there way too fast: I just couldn’t stop".
Kenan Sofuoglu thus inherits the controls of the race ahead of Laverty, on the track as well as during the two races. Fabien Foret is not far from Eugene but our pilot Yam ‘, to take second place on the podium, has to get ahead of the Irishman by more than half a second !
In the last lap, Foret sees Laverty move away and must manage the return of Pitt, himself put under pressure by Chaz Davies, entered alongside McCoy on Triumph Daytona for the last three rounds of the championship … , and therefore cumulating the two rounds, Sofuoglu wins ahead of Laverty, Foret, Davies and McCoy !
The Turk pocketed his 14th victory, a record in the Supersport category! The 2007 champion is delighted to be riding a motorcycle capable of winning once again and now has only one goal: to hit the mark at the end of the season and keep his 3rd place overall..
Fabien Foret is very satisfied with his new podium: "it’s great to be back at the forefront and collect points, it’s really good for my mind", affirms the Charentais, largely eclipsed this season by his teammate Crutchlow !
But the happiest is undoubtedly Laverty: "i can’t believe i’m back in the title fight i’ve never been this close this year", notes Eugene, who will do everything to win the championship in Portimao, on the land of his team !
In the provisional, Crutchlow remains in the lead with 210 points against 208 for Laverty. Sofuolu takes advantage of his victory and the breakage of the Ninja n ° 26 to pass Lascorz (153 against 138). Behind them stands Fabien Foret and his 115 points.
On the constructors side, Honda and Yamaha are only separated by 5 points: 256 for the winged brand against 251 for the tuning fork brand. However, they share the same number of victories this season: 6 each … Then follow Kawasaki (158 pts) and Triumph (98).
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