The FIM Supersport World Championship is renowned for its sensational racing and high levels of drama, but no one could have predicted what would happen last time out in Portugal. From the outside, it seems that Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) took his second consecutive victory and his championship rivals had a tough race, but that was far from the case. Now heading to France for the final European round of the season there is a lot on the line for the top six championship fighters, and the battle will be one worth watching.
Sensational rookie Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) now has a 16 point lead in the standings after a heroic comeback in Portugal. Coming together with his main title rival Jules Cluzel (NRT) on the opening lap of the race, the fight was on as he got back on his Yamaha and fought through the field to redeem as many points as possible. With a sensational display of racing action, the German rider was able to get up to sixth position over 15 laps, but took fifth in the overall result. Now heading to another unknown circuit, will he keep a calm head? It remains to be seen.
Putting the championship fight to the back of his mind, Cluzel is still suffering heartbreak from Portugal as he was unable to rejoin the race after being the victim of a crash with Cortese. Losing a handful of points on Cortese, which is pivotal at this time of the year, he will head to his home round with winning on his mind. Out of four WorldSSP appearances here in Magny-Cours, the Frenchman has won three times meaning he will certainly be the main target this season. But keeping a cool head will be key to a strong weekend.
After a steady start to the season, the GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team have catapulted to the front of the field in recent races. Caricasulo is fresh off the back of two back to back race wins and is now well and truly back in the championship fight – 20 points off the top. But the Italian has a lot of work to do if he wants to get the title, and with a sixth and a second position secured at Magny in the past, he will be searching for those final updates.
Whilst on the other side of the garage, Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) experienced heartache in Portugal as he led his first race since Imola and was showing everyone he was back to his best. But tyre woes forced him to end his race one lap early, and the reigning champion thought his race was run. But he was thrown a final lifeline as a red flag on the final lap meant he had the chance to get back to pit lane before the five minute time limit and take the win. In a sensational lap, heartbreak fell on the team as he cut the final corner of the lap, meaning he was ruled him out of contention and therefore meant he scored no points. With a third and a fourth secured in front of his home fans in the past, he will certainly be out for revenge with the support of the French behind him.
Whilst Rafaelle de Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) continues to put on a sensational show for the Italian manufacturer, taking his sixth podium finish in a row but still missing out on that fight for the win. Despite a tough record in France in the past, he will be searching for the seventh podium in a row.
Follow all the sensational WorldSSP action from Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours from 28th – 30th September with the build up throughout the weekend, ahead of the race kicking off at 13.45LT on Sunday.