Strong start to the Cup for the European riders
MotorLand Aragon welcomed the first Round of the European Supersport Cup, which sees eight riders compete alongside the adrenaline fuelled FIM Supersport World Championship. With the opportunity to score points in both the World Championship as well as the Cup, it is the perfect platform in which riders can showcase their talents on the world stage.
With eight entries in this season’s cup, there will no doubt be some tense and close battles in the series, as riders not only try to impress within the Cup itself but also in the Championship. Alessandro Zaccone (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) secured a strong start to his weekend, as he made it into Superpole Two meaning he was able to fight for the front row positions on the grid. Qualifying in 11th position, the Italian proved he has a strong pace aboard his Italian machine. Despite all other ESS riders starting the race from the second half of the grid, the competition was high as the top 20 positions were split by two seconds.
Sunday’s race welcomed an action-packed and drama-filled event, with the European Supersport Cup riders getting involved with the action. Zaccone’s race came to a swift end, as the Italian was forced to retire on the opening lap with problems on his bike, despite showing a strong pace. Estonian rider Hannes Soomer (WILSport Racedays) started the race from 21st position and was able to put on a stunning display throughout the 16 lap race. Showing determined nature, and he made a big jump in positions on lap eight. From here, his race continued to improve and after he was involved in a battle with Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing) in the closing laps, he was able to secure a top ten finish.
Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Jenik – Against Cancer) was another rider to give a strong performance around MotorLand Aragon, scoring points in his first race of the season. Qualifying in 23rd position, he was able to fight through the field in tough windy conditions to secure a top 12 finish. The seventh lap of 16 was the defining lap for the Dutch rider, as he made up four positions and as a result put him in the fight close to the top ten. He ultimately crossed the line in 12th position, narrowly missing out on 11th behind Japanese rider Hikari Okubo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda).
With Soomer and Hartog the only points scorers in the Cup so far, the battle will be on in the second round of the series at TT Circuit Assen, as Peter Sebestyen (SSP Hungary by Pedercini Racing), Jacopo Cretaro (RSV Phoenix Suzuki), Hiromichi Kunikawa (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), Jamie van Sikkelerus (MVR Racing), Connor London (RSV Phoenix Suzuki) and Zaccone hope to get some points on the board in the highly competitive series. Keep up with all the inner-series battles on the WorldSBK VideoPass, which can be found here.