All five manufacturers featured in the top five of the Race 2 results, the first time this has happened since 2007
Race 2 in the FIM Supersport World Championship was shortened due to a red flag but still provided plenty of drama and excitement at the Autodrom Most as Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) claimed his second win of the Prosecco DOC Czech Round with a perfectly-timed overtake on Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team). For the second time in WorldSSP history, all five manufacturers were represented in the top five at the end of the race.
BALDASSARRI VS BULEGA: a fight to the end
Bulega made the move for the lead of the race on at Turn 20 on Lap 5 and, while Baldassarri was able to keep applying pressure to Bulega, the Ducati rider was able to keep the lead of the race until the final lap of the race, which was red flagged on Lap 16 after a crash for Steven Odendaal (Kallio Racing). Odendaal’s bike was on the exit of Turn 21, and there was also oil on the circuit, with the red flag being deployed for the track. Prior to the red flags being deployed, Baldassarri made a move on Bulega at Turn 1 to take his second win of the Czech Round, and his third of the season. Bulega was classified just 0.213s down on the race victory as he took his seventh podium. With Championship leader Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) not scoring in Race 1, and not racing in Race 2 after his suspension by the FIM WorldSBK Stewards for unsporting behaviour, the gap in the standings between Aegerter and Baldassarri is now just 14 points.
THE BATTLE FOR THIRD: a thrilling four-way fight
Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph) once again made up podiums throughout the early stages of the race and brought himself into podium contention, as he put pressure on Can (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) Oncu for third place. However, on Lap 12, the rookie ran wide and allowed Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) through, but Manzi responded almost immediately to reclaim fourth place. In the closing stages, Manzi overtook Oncu at Turn 20 just before the red flag was deployed to secure his second podium of the Czech Round. Manzi’s podium, behind Baldassarri and Bulega, means Italian riders have locked out the WorldSSP podium for the first time.
It meant Oncu finished in fourth place ahead of Turkish compatriot Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) in fifth; with the rookie taking his best result in WorldSSP to date and found himself in the podium fight. Caricasulo dropped down the order to finish sixth at the end of the race after fighting for a podium throughout the race conditions. With Oncu in fourth and Sofuoglu in fifth, all five manufacturers finished in the top five for the first time since Monza 2007: on that occasion, five-time Champion Kenan Sofuoglu and Bahattin’s uncle, finished first.
SCORING A TOP TEN: ending the Czech Round with a strong result
Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) had been running in the podium fight until he took to the escape road through the Turn 1-2 chicane that opens the lap, with the Spanish rookie losing ground and having to fend off Valentin Debise (GMT94 Yamaha). Huertas and Debise finished in seventh and eighth respectively, with just six tenths separating the pair when the red flag was deployed.
Estonian rider Hannes Soomer (Dynavolt Triumph) took home ninth place and he had to fend off the challenge from the returning Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Reparto Corse). The Finn missed the last two rounds of the season following an injury and subsequent surgery but returned in style at the Czech Round as he claimed two top-ten finished.
POINTS SCORERS: completing the top 15
Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) narrowly missed out on a spot in the top ten as he finished in 11th spot, the Hungarian rider only half a second down on Tuuli in tenth. Andy Verdoia (GMT94 Yamaha) had been running in the top ten in the early stages of the race but dropped down to 12th at the end of the race. Leonardo Taccini (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) claimed 13th spot ahead of Marcel Brenner (VFT Racing) and Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) in 14th and 15th respectively. Van Straalen lost lots of time at the start of the race when he went through the gravel at the Turn 1-2 chicane but was able to fight back to take home a solitary point in Race 2.
HOUSEKEEPING: stories from WorldSSP Race 2
Isaac Vinales (D34G Racing) was the first retirement from the race after a Turn 10 crash on Lap 2. On Lap 3, Unai Orradre (MS Racing Yamaha WorldSSP) crashed out at Turn 15. Oli Bayliss (BARNI Spark Racing Ream) crashed out at Turn 15 on Lap 6, forcing the Australian rookie out of the race. He was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the crash. Fellow rookie Yari Montella (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was also a retirement after a Turn 21 crash, with Montella taken to the medical centre for a check up, while Maximilian Kofler (CM Racing) and Patrick Hobelsberger (Kallio Racing) also crashed at Turn 21. Kyle Smith (VFT Racing) crashed out at Turn 20 on Lap 9. Bayliss, Hobelsberger, Orradre and Montella were all taken to the medical centre for a check up following their respective crashes.
The top six following WorldSSP Race 2, full results here:
1 Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team)
2. Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) +0.213s
3. Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph) +3.922s
4. Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +4.354s
5. Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +5.245s
6. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) ++6.254w
Fastest Lap: Stefano Manzi (Triumph) – 1’35.218s
1 Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) 245 points
2. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) 231
3. Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) 147
4. Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) 112
5. Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph) 108
6. Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) 75
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