Italian rookie Andrea Locatelli wins his tenth race of the season to secure his first World Championship
A fightback in the race after a poor start allowed Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) to be crowned World Champion in the 2020 FIM Supersport World Championship after battling his way from fifth to the front of the field at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the first ever Acerbis Catalunya Round.
Locatelli had started from pole position but found himself down in fifth place after the opening handful of laps with Locatelli not taking risks in the early stages, despite falling behind Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing). It would take until Lap 5 for Locatelli to start making moves, first passing Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) into Turn 1 before he passed Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) a lap later.
The title-winning move came on Lap 9 as he made a move on both Mahias and Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing); Locatelli forcing Mahias wide and onto the run-off between Turns 1 and 2 although Oettl was able to pass Locatelli shortly after. Locatelli then extended his gap at the front to just over two seconds as he secured victory and the World Championship.
HE'S DONE IT!— WorldSBK (@WorldSBK) September 20, 2020
Andrea Locatelli is the new #WorldSSP Champion in his rookie season!
Unrivaled achievement, unprecedented domination, and unstoppable to the World Championship!
Well done, Andrea! #LOKampione pic.twitter.com/GzPlngn2ZB
Mahias finished the race in second place, onboard his Kawasaki. Mahias was joined by teammate Oettl on the podium, with Mahias getting past Oettl with a handful of laps to go but unable to close the gap to Locatelli.
De Rosa secured a fourth placed finish, less than a second away from the podium, with Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) in fifth, his first top five since Portimao Race 2 as the South African continues to impress in WorldSSP. Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) finished in sixth place, finishing ahead of Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team); the 2019 WorldSSP300 Champion penalised three seconds for track limits infringements.
Perolari fell down the order in the latter stages of the race to finish in eighth place with Danny Webb (WRP Wepol Racing) in ninth; the British rider securing another top ten finish – his fifth in the last six races. Estonian Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) completed the top ten, finished just over a second behind Webb.
Peter Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) just missed out on a top ten finish with 11th place with Axel Bassani (Soradis Yamaha Motoxracing) in 12th place; the highest placed WorldSSP Challenge rider as he finished less than a tenth ahead of WorldSSP Challenge rider Kevin Manfredi (Altogoo Racing Team) in 13th. Race 1 winner Andy Verdoïa (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing) finished in 14th place as Loris Cresson (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) completed the points.
There was a collision on the run down to Turn 1 at the start between Can Öncü (Turkish Racing Team) and Patrick Hobelsberger (Dynavolt Honda) with Hobelsberger taken to the medical centre for a check-up before being diagnosed with a left hip contusion and suspected pelvic injury. He will be transferred to hospital for further assessments. Galang Hendra Pratama (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing) crashed on Lap 2 of the race while Kyle Smith (GMT94 Yamaha) and teammate Oscar Gutierrez came together on the same lap; all three riders retiring from the race.
The top six following Race 2 in WorldSSP, full results here:
1.) Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)
2.) Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +2.159s
3.) Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +4.252s
4.) Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +5.086s
5.) Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) +7.847s
6.) Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) +8.195s
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