At Automotodrom Brno Jules Cluzel grabbed his third 2018 win after an exciting duel with Sandro Cortese, which lasted from the beginning till reaching the apex in the last lap. The French rider made gave some more happiness to Nerds Racing Team with a perfect, smart race conduct and at the end Sandro Cortese could just content with second place.
PACK – After taking the lead with a good start, Cluzel was overtaken by Cortese at the fourth lap, but then he managed to go back to first and to contrast Cortese’s assaults. At the beginning the pair was leading a six-rider pack, but the fall of Federico Caricasulo and a Turn-5 mistake by Randy Krummenacher during the second lap, together with Lucas Mahias’ not being able to keep the pace, reduced the group from six to three riders, with Raffaele De Rosa close to the duo.
DUEL – But also De Rosa didn’t manage to keep the pair’s pace till the end and so the victory was definitely an affair involving Cortese and Cluzel. Affaire that turned into an exciting last-lap fight: after remaining behind Cluzel following some failed tries, Cortese overtook him at Turn 3 and tried to defend the position at Turn 4, where Cluzel went back to first after a touch with “Sandrissimo”. Since then, Cluzel stopped all the attacks of on-fire Cortese and so he triumphed for the third time in this season. An important win for Cluzel, who now ranks second in World Championship with 120 points, just two less than Cortese (122).
DE ROSA – Behind the front duo, Raffaele De Rosa grabbed his fourth third-place finish in a row. The MV Agusta rider wasn’t able to stay with Cortese and Cluzel and so he contented with third place in front of Lucas Mahias and Randy Krummenacher. Will the guy from Naples make it to the win in his home race at Misano?
LAHTI WINS IN ESS – Behind the top 5 we saw a convincing sixth place for Thomas Gradinger, but even more convincing was the performance from Eemeli Lahti: the Finnish, only Suzuki rider in this championship, had a great start that took him from 14th to 6th place and finally he ranked ninth after duelling with Loris Cresson. Lahti scored his second win in a row in ESS, while standings leader Rob Hartog ranked 11th.
GREAT COPPOLA AND BALDOLINI – Something more to be remarked is the performance by Alfonso Coppola. After starting from the pit lane due to a penalty, 2017 World Supersport 300 runner-up performed a great recovery from 31st to 14th place and so he scored his first points in the championship. In conclusion, positive return to racing for Alex Baldolini, as he crossed the line in 15th place and scored his first point after 2017 Misano’s left-hand injury.