WorldSSP heads to the rollercoaster of Portimao for its tenth round of the season, with the potential for Dominique Aegerter clinching his first World Championship
The Motul Portuguese Round for the FIM Supersport World Championship ends the run of three races in three weekends with the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve hosting the tenth round of action for the WorldSSP paddock, with the title potentially to be decided across the two races, although it can only be won after Race 2.
CAN AEGERTER CLAIM THE TITLE IN PORTIMAO?
Just two weeks after the disappointment of losing out on the MotoE™ World Cup, Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) could potentially seal the WorldSSP title on Sunday in Portimao, depending on the results of Race 1 on Saturday. The Swiss rider is currently 62 points clear of Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) with 100 available after the conclusion of the Portuguese Round, meaning Aegerter needs to be 100 points clear after the conclusion of Sunday’s race. Both riders know the venue well from their various careers, with Odendaal claiming fourth in Portimao last year in WorldSSP as a best result while Aegerter knows it from his Moto2™ career.
THE BATTLE FOR THIRD INTENSIFIES
Behind Aegerter and Odendaal, the battle for third continues between Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team) with just a single point separating the pair. Oettl is also only 48 points behind Odendaal, with the South African rider needing to look over his shoulder in the Championship standings Oettl returned to the rostrum last time out in Jerez, finishing in second place, after being the rider to beat throughout the weekend until race day. The German claimed fifth and seventh in Portimao in 2020 while Gonzalez claimed second and third in the Portuguese venue when he competed in WorldSSP300, and two top-ten finishes in his debut WorldSSP campaign in Portimao last season.
RIDERS ON THE RISE…
The last few rounds have been notable for multiple riders surging up the order in both race results and Championship standings. Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) claimed back-to-back WorldSSP podiums for the first time since 2017 when he secured third in the sole WorldSSP race at Jerez, and he will be hoping he can make it three-in-a-row to equal his best streak.
Randy Krummenacher (CM Racing) has shown strong pace since his mid-season switch to CM Racing from EAB Racing Team, even with his crash that forced him out of the race at Jerez, and will be hoping his new-found form continues at a circuit he finished second at in 2019 onboard Yamaha machinery. Italian Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) came close to taking his first WorldSSP victory in Catalunya and Portimao is a circuit he has gone well at in the past; De Rosa will be hoping Portimao is the scene of his first win in WorldSSP.
THE CONCLUSION OF THE WorldSSP Challenge CAMPAIGN
Portimao marks the end of the 2021 WorldSSP Challenge campaign with Federico Caricasulo (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) and Kevin Manfredi (Altogo Racing Team) tied on points at the top of the standings, despite Caricasulo only doing two rounds as a Challenge rider, with the pair on 31 points. Caricasulo leads the standings on countback but will not race as a Challenge rider in Portimao, meaning Manfredi needs to score 15th or higher in either Race 1 or Race 2 to retain his title.
Five-time Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will be back on track in Portimao, taking part in Friday practice sessions as he did in Jerez. Yari Montella will make his WorldSSP debut with GMT94 Yamaha, replacing Valentine Debise who is still recovering from a start-line incident at Magny-Cours. Montella has Moto2™ experience having made his debut in the Moto2™ World Championship in 2021, while he also competed in two Moto3™ races in 2018. The Italian also claimed the European Moto2™ title in 2020. German rider Patrick Hobelsberger will return to action for Bonovo MGM Action, as he did in Catalunya, while IXS-YART Yamaha duo Ondrej Vostatek and Billy van Eerde return as One Event riders; the latter needing to undergo medical checks after being declared unfit in Jerez.
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