With the gap to championship leader Randy Krummenacher decreasing, Cluzel delivered the good in front of a huge Donington Park audience!
It was a return to winning ways for Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA), as he took a second win of the season to reignite the hopes of his loyal fans, in his quest for a first WorldSSP crown. The Frenchman, who has struggled since the return to Europe, took his first career win at Donington Park and closed the gap to the championship lead down from 53 to 41.
It was a great start from Cluzel, who was able to put himself in a strong position before taking second on Lap 3. He then stalked fellow countryman and former championship rival, Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), until seven laps to go when he took the lead at Turn 1. Despite a crazy end to the race and a late charge from Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team), Cluzel clung on for his second win of 2019 and his first at Donington Park.
“It was amazing! On Friday, I was quick, and we worked for the race. I felt that I was ready for the race, but I was disappointed yesterday, because it was raining in the morning. I was calm because I knew I had a strong race pace, and this was the most important. Today went well, and at the beginning, I made a good start.
“Mahias was fast at the beginning, and I was looking to see where I could stay with him and where it would be possible to pass. After Lap 7 when I was leading, I tried to push even harder because I knew Krummenacher was coming, so I knew he could be a danger for me in the final laps.
Cluzel gave France their 59th win in WorldSSP, whilst becoming the first French rider since Stephane Chambon in 2000 to win at Donington Park; Chambon went on to finish third overall that season. It was a 19th win for Cluzel, consolidating his status as the most successful French WorldSSP rider in history in terms of wins – ahead of former champions Fabian Foret, Sebastian Charpentier, Stephane Chambon and Lucas Mahias.
“On the final lap, the strategy worked, as I was leading into the penultimate corner. I could see Caricasulo coming up the inside, but I thought he might go too far. I led into the last corner and I expected something from Federico, but he didn’t come. I want to congratulate Federico because he was thinking about the championship and otherwise, this can be a disaster! I have never won at Donington Park, so this is something new for me!”
Watch more scintillating WorldSSP action in the final four rounds with the WorldSBK VideoPass!