Twists and turns of all kinds in Misano !
This 8th round of the SBK World Cup was marked by various incidents: rain in the first Superbike round, oil on the track in Supersport and a technical problem on a high-tech machine in the second Superbike round…. Funny Sunday !
Crutchlow is the first to extract himself from the grille on the rear wheel, but must give up some gas. Roccoli took the opportunity to take the lead in the race, followed by an Andrew Pitt who perfectly escaped from his 9th place. Fujiwara, Aitchison, Nannelli, Sofuoglu and Lascorz follow.
In the break to the right, Pitt is content to lick the brakes and take the lead! Crutchlow is currently 8th, Laverty is 10th: as much to say that the two leaders of the championship will have to whip severely !
The driver we see attacking the most in the first two laps is Fujiwara: sometimes outside Roccoli, sometimes inside, the Japanese proves that his Ninja is a treat to lead..
However, the fastest man on the track is Eugene Laverty: the Irishman leaves all his opponents on the spot and climbs to 2nd position in the middle of the third lap! Honda rider Parkalgar even inherits the lead when Andrew Pitt loses the front of his Honda and spins through the gravel.
"There is simply no point in riding for 5th or 6th place", said Andrew who was only running for the win:"the problem is that we tested new suspensions and that we did not run much on dry track".
Behind the leading trio of Laverty, Fujiwara and Roccoli, Crutchlow made his way through the middle of the second group and ended up joining the Italian in 3rd position … And it was in the 5th lap of the race that Cal overtook Michel then has Katsuaki.
While Laverty was going to offer himself a small second in advance, Crutchlow launched in pursuit of him in the 6th lap and managed to join him at the start of the 7th lap. Behind, Fujiwara and Roccoli are increasingly threatened by Sofuoglu…
Very comfortable on his R6, Crutchlow quickly found himself at the edge of Laverty’s CBR. One second behind the duo, Sofuoglu wins a place: he is 4th, just behind Fujiwara.
On the 8th passage in front of the pits, the rider of Honda n ° 50 and that of Yamaha n ° 35 were neck and neck but under braking, Laverty retained the advantage. Behind, Sofuoglu stumbles against Fujiwara … and falls when braking in the chicane !
"We had to invent a setting for the dry and I knew very quickly that it was not the right one", Kenan will regret before specifying that"the rear was slipping way too much out of the turn and I had a hard time passing Fujiwara. When I finally passed him I had to attack to join the others and I fell"…
Then it was Pirro and Nannelli’s turn to make a mistake … The red flag was quickly waved by the marshals: traces of oil no longer allowed driving in complete safety..
A second start must therefore be given, following the order established during the last completely completed lap (the 8th).
Laverty then had a lead of 0.206 seconds over Crutchlow, 1.603 over Fujiwara, 1.739 over Sofuoglu – who will not start again -, 1,870 over Roccoli, 3,158 over Aitchison, almost 5 seconds over Pirro, West and Lascorz, then 6 seconds over Nannelli, McCoy and Forest … Gaps that must be taken into account at the end of the 2nd round, in order to know the winner of this San Marino event !
Crutchlow once again takes a superb start in front of Laverty, quickly overtaken by Lascorz! In the first lap, the first two dig a small lead on Laverty but the Irishman does not give up and remains in contact, unlike Roccoli. Behind, West fights against Aitchison, Fujiwara and Foret.
Over the two runs, Crutchlow leads ahead of Laverty and Roccoli, but on the track, Lascorz seems determined to play the role of referee! With 8 laps to go, while Crutchlow and Laverty manage to separate from Lascorz and Roccoli, the Irishman narrowly misses the highside and allows his two pursuers to return to contact !
Once the heat of Laverty has been digested, Cal Crutchlow and his inseparable Eugene take their distance on Joan Lascorz and Gianluca Roccoli. "During the hiatus we made some modifications to my bike and it worked perfectly", rejoices Laverty.
The fight for 4th place continues between West, Fujiwara and Nannelli but overall, Katsuaki has a comfortable lead over Anthony, himself far ahead of Gianluca..
Five laps before the end, the fight between Crutchlow and Laverty intensifies and after several weapon passes, the Honda takes the lead in front of the Yamaha: "in the second run it was much easier to follow Cal Crutchlow so I thought he was slowing me down", will explain the young Irishman …"But when I took over I couldn’t run away !"So, two laps from the end, the positions are reversed again !
To win the race, however, Crutchlow had to lead Laverty by more than 0.206 seconds! Suffice to say that the Irishman has every interest in staying wisely in Cal’s aspi … Unfortunately for Eugene, he loses his precious lead in the first race in the last acceleration where his Honda slips then rears unnecessarily.
"I had deliberately slowed down in this corner the previous laps, because I knew I was faster than him", will reveal Eugene:"on the last pass, I went well but I opened the throttle very early and I may have been too greedy"…
Crutchlow thus wins the race ahead of Laverty – the two pilots congratulate each other and heckle until Laverty falls, fortunately not serious! -, while Roccoli takes 3rd place to the delight of the Italian public.
"I owe everything to the team, they did a great job again and we are back for the win !", Cal notes:"as long as it lasts and I can get another home win at Donington !"
Lascorz obtained a nice 4th place while his teammate Fujiwara just missed out on 5th place against Aitchison. The performance of the ZX-6R remains encouraging for Kawasaki, whose speed results have been difficult to see lately…
In the championship, Crutchlow (160 points) slightly increased his lead (14 points) over Laverty and now has "two wins" ahead (52) over Sofuoglu and three (74) over Lascorz. Fabien Foret remains 7th with 63 points behind West (75) and Pitt (73).
On the manufacturers’ side, the gap between the two leaders is narrowing: Honda has 178 points against 160 for Yamaha … Kawasaki has 97 points, Triumph 53 and Suzuki, whose sole representative (Hoegee) has withdrawn from the competition. , remains stuck at 30 points.
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