In the penultimate WorldSSP race of the season on Sunday in Spain it was Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) who clinched a scintillating victory, crossing the line just 0.065s in front of Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), with the podium completed by Anthony West (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing).
It was a superb 19 lap contest around the resurfaced 4.423km Circuito de Jerez with Caricasulo and Cluzel contesting the lead in the early laps and their battle would continue to the last corner of the race, with the Italian just holding off the Frenchman for a breathtaking win.
The experienced West worked his way up into a front group of five riders and was able to secure third place by a comfortable enough margin from fourth placed PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) in the end.
At the Pirelli Spanish Round standings leader Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) ultimately produced a controlled and professional ride to fifth place, picking up crucial points after two crashes earlier in the weekend in Spain.
In the absence of the injured 2016 World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) Mahias has opened up a 20 point advantage at the head of the standings with one race remaining in Qatar early in November.
Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing) is now out of contention for the title, the South African having a tricky race, taking the holeshot off the line from third on the grid before dropping out of the top ten in the early running and then making his way back up to sixth.
The top ten was completed by Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing), Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Jenik – Against Cancer), Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing).
The race results saw Yamaha confirmed as the Winning WorldSSP Manufacturer for 2017 as the GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team secured the Team’s title.
Meanwhile, for Estonian rider Hannes Soomer (WILSport Racedays) 15th place was enough to give him the FIM Europe Supersport Cup title.
Stefan Hill (Profile Racing) crashed out at turn 10 early in the race, then with 9 laps to go Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) went down at turn 13 and would retire shortly afterwards. Kyle Smith then also crashed at turn 13 at the end of the race, meaning a DNF for the GEMAR Team Lorini man.
P1 – Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team)
“I am so happy, the whole team did a good job, we had a perfect bike the whole race. I was pushing 100% in the last two laps and it was really hard to battle with Jules and in the end I was able to win and we are really happy.”
#JerezWorldSBK: WorldSSP Race
1. Federico Caricasulo (ITA) Yamaha
2. Jules Cluzel (FRA) Honda +0.065
3. Antonthy West (AUS) Kawasaki +1.652
WorldSSP Championship Standings Pirelli Jerez Round
1. Lucas Mahias (FRA) Yamaha (165 points)
2. Kenan Sofuoglu (TUR) Kawasaki (145 points)
3. Jules Cluzel (FRA) Honda (135 points)