At the Pirelli French Round on Sunday Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing) followed up on his first WorldSSP pole result on Saturday by winning the race at the 4.411km Magny-Cours track by 0.875s from second placed Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team). The podium was completed by American rider PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse).
Tuuli rode superbly on his Yamaha YZF R6 over the course of the 19 lap race in front of the French fans and although he came under pressure from fellow Yamaha-equipped rider Caricasulo in the final stages he held his nerve to take a career-first win in the series.
Jacobsen also performed well from ninth on the grid, making his way through the field for his third podium of the year on his MV Agusta – ultimately crossing the line 5.692s adrift of winner Tuuli.
Finishing the race in fourth place Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) moved to the top of the WorldSSP championship standings by nine points from the absent Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) with two rounds remaining.
After Mahias in fourth his compatriot Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) was the second best French finisher in fifth place. Cluzel just beat Italian pair Lorenzo Zanetti (Team Factory Vamag) and Michael Canducci (3570 Puccetti Racing FMI) to the line, whilst race-winner Tuuli’s Kallio Racing colleague Sheridan Morais was eighth.
Britons Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini) and Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing) rounded out the top ten.
Defending World Champion Sofuoglu unfortunately missed the race following a crash in Superpole at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours on Saturday. Suffering fractures to his hip, the Turkish rider was declared unfit at the Pirelli French Round and it was announced he would have to miss the race as he flies back to Turkey for surgery.
Follow the remainder of the WorldSSP season with the WorldSBK VideoPass, with the next race set to take place at the Pirelli Spanish Round over the 20th -22nd October weekend, the penultimate round of 2017.
P1 – Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing)
“I didn’t expect to win but ts been a really difficult season, until we got our new bikes , my riding was able to improve. I like this track and we were able to get a really good setting and we took the right tyre choice. I was able to ride consistent laps and I’m really happy. Thanks to everyone who has supported me”
#FrenchWorldSBK: WorldSSP Race
1. Niki Tuuli (FIN) Yamaha
2. Federico Caricasulo (ITA) Yamaha +0.875
3. PJ Jacobsen (USA) MV Agusta +5.692
WorldSSP Championship Standings Pirelli French Round
1. Lucas Mahias (FRA) Yamaha (154 points)
2. Kenan Sofuoglu (TUR) Kawasaki (145 points)
3. Sheridan Morais (RSA) Yamaha (122 points)