Manzi takes Triumph’s first ever WorldSSP victory in hard-fought Race 1 at Portimao

Saturday, 8 October 2022 16:09 GMT

The Italian rider went from fourth on the grid to take his, and Triumph’s, first win in WorldSSP in a thrilling Race 1; Yamaha secure 2022 Manufacturers’ Championship

Race 1 for the FIM Supersport World Championship was a historic race as British manufacturer Triumph claimed their first WorldSSP victory during the Pirelli Portuguese Round at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph) claimed a hard-fought victory in a shortened 12-lap encounter in Portugal for his first win in the Championship, while Yamaha secured the 2022 Manufacturers’ Championship with a second-place finish.

‘NEXT GENERATION’ TO THE FRONT: Triumph win, Ducati on the podium

Manzi was able to convert his best Tissot Superpole result of the season with fourth place, able to fight from the start of the race rather than fighting back for a podium finish as he had before in 2022. Manzi went defensive on the last lap which allowed Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) to close the gap which created a drag race to the line, with Manzi taking the win by just 0.011s ahead of his compatriot. The podium was locked out by Italian riders as Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) who took his first podium of the 2022 season and the 23rd in his career.

Victory for Manzi meant Triumph became the seventh different manufacturer to win in WorldSSP history, while he became the 57th different WorldSSP winner. Baldassarri took his 14th WorldSSP podium with second place and closed the gap to Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) who finished fourth, while Caricasulo’s third place put him level with Andrew Pitt and Sam Lowes on 23 podiums in the Championship. It was also the second Italian 1-2-3 finish this season, after Race 2 at Most. Second place for Baldassarri meant Yamaha wrapped up the Manufacturers’ Championship for 2022.

SO CLOSE YET SO FAR: Aegerter off the podium

Reigning Champion Aegerter missed out on the podium by just 0.181s at the end of the 12-lap race as he took fourth place, finishing ahead of Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) in fifth. It means all three of the new bikes introduced for 2022 finished inside the top five in Race 1. Tuuli was just under two seconds away from victory at the end of the hectic Race 1, with the Finn finishing around a second ahead of Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP) was sixth after battling his way up the field for a top six finish.

COMPLETING THE TOP 12: a strong result heading into Sunday

Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) had been fighting for the podium positions but a mistake on the last lap dropped him down to seventh place, a second behind De Rosa, but he still had a three-second margin over Estonian rider Hannes Soomer (Dynavolt Triumph) in eighth, with both Triumph riders securing a top-ten finish in Race 1. There was a three-way fight for ninth place at the end of Race 1 as Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) finished as the lead Kawasaki rider in ninth, just 0.041s ahead of Isaac Vinales (D34G Racing) and a further 0.029s ahead of Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse). Despite Vinales finishing as the lead WorldSSP Challenge rider, Sofuoglu wrapped up the WorldSSP Challenge title with one race to spare.

TAKING HOME POINTS: looking to move up on Sunday

It was a rollercoaster race for Dutch rider Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team). Having fought for the podium places in the early stages of the race, he dropped down the order to 12th place as he finished almost two seconds ahead of Yari Montella (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing). The Italian rider ran wide through the first three corners on the opening lap which dropped him down the order, forcing him to fight back up to 13th place. Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) took 14th place ahead of Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) in 15th. Bulega was unable to set a lap time in the Tissot Superpole session but was able to fight back to take points in the shortened race.

TO NOTE: housekeeping from Race 1

Replacement rider Meikon Kawakami (MS Racing Yamaha WorldSSP), standing in for Unai Orradre, crashed on the exit of Turn 5 on the opening lap of the race which put the Brazilian rider out of the race. Marcel Brenner (VFT Racing) was the second retirement of the race when he suffered a technical issue on Lap 4. Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) brought his machine back into the pits just past the halfway mark to retire from the race. Wildcard Tom Edwards (Yart – Yamaha WorldSSP) took a tumble at Turn 13 on Lap 10, putting him out of the race.

The top six following WorldSSP Race 1, full results here:

1. Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph)

2. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) +0.011s

3. Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) +0.128s

4. Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +0.181s

5. Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +1.732s

6. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura WorldSSP) +2.638s

Don’t miss WorldSSP Race 2 from Portimao on Sunday using the WorldSBK VideoPass!