WorldSBK.com reviews the unpredictable start to the 2017 season
Since the season kick off in Australia, the FIM Supersport World Championship has delighted fans with some stunning racing action in the opening three Rounds, complete unexpected levels of drama. Treating us to three different winners so far in 2017, will this trend continue into Assen? WorldSBK.com takes a look back over the opening thrillers.
Roberto Rolfo (Team Factory Vamag) set the bar in the Yamaha Finance Australian Round, as the restarted race produced sensational racing action under the sunny Australian skies. With a front running group of six riders heading into the final lap of only 10, the Italian led the way and it was all about seeing if he could hold it to the line. In an exhilarating run to the line, Rolfo took the victory by 0.001s and as a result the championship lead. Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) narrowly missed out on the victory, although he later received a penalty of a second due to ‘dangerous riding on approach to the finish line’.
Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) took the honours of standing on the top step of the podium in Round Two at the MOTUL Thai Round, in yet another breathtaking race – this time in the Asian heat. Fuelled with crashes and mechanical woes, the WorldSSP race at the Chang International Circuit was not one to miss as PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Mahias were forced out of the race with technical issues. Similar issues plagued Jules Cluzel (CIA Insurance Landlord Honda) who was forced to give up his lead from the opening lap. Thai wildcard riders impressed in front of their home fans, but ultimately Caricasulo came out on top with an advantage of just under a second. Following the dramatic events seen in Round Two, Rolfo left with a three point championship lead.
World Supersport headed to Europe for the third round of the season at MotorLand Aragon, and drama ensued once again. A close fight for the victory began as reigning world champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) made his return to the series after he missed the opening rounds with injury. However he was caught up with a crash in turn eight with Round Two winner Caricasulo, meaning he is yet to score points in 2017. A three-way battle for the front emerged between Mahias, Sheridan Morias (Kallio Racing) and Jacobsen, but ultimately Mahias planned his final lap to perfection by taking advantage of his Yamaha’s strength through the final corner, to take his first victory of the season and as a result a five point championship lead.
With three stunning rounds so far, the question on everyone’s lips is can this unpredictable season continue, and who will come out victorious? Re-watch all the stunning opening races, as well as the reactions with the WorldSBK.com VideoPass, here.