Supersport Imola, Race: Kenan Sofuoglu stops, Jules Cluzel wins

As usual in 2018 World Supersport, also the race at Imola was one to remember, with a long series of coups de theatre started even before the race. yes, because Kenan Sofuoglu, who had earned the first row after Superpole, decided not to take part in the race “not to break the promise to stop racing”. The finve times World Supersport Champion decided to finish his 20-year-long career before the race and this decision was respected and approved by supporters and insiders, who were already happy with seeing him on the track during Practice sessions after the injuries sustanined in the past months.

DISASTER MAHIAS – After Sofuoglu’s farewell, Imola hosted an unpredictable World Supersport Race, whose result was unpredictable till the end of the race. At the beginning Lucas Mahias stayed in first position after starting from pole position and he seemed able to escape. But his dream stopped at the fifth lap, when he fell at Rivazzatrying to distance Jules Cluzel, Federico Caricasulo, Raffaele de Rosa and Sandro Cortese. The Frenchman rejoined the race in 20th position and then he recovered till 8th position.

BAGARRE – As Mahias excluded himself from the fight for the win, Federico Caricasulo took the lead after battling with Jules Cluzel. But at the eighth lap it changed again: Caricasulo made a mistake at Acque Minerali and this pushed him back to fourth place behind Cluzel, Raffaele De Rosa and Sandro Cortese. The front quartet made many overtakes, but Cluzel was constantly in first place. Caricasulo passed both Cortese and De Rosa and then he tried to overtake also Cluzel, but a good last lap gave “Julo” his second win in a row after the Assen one. Caricasulo and De Rosa (once again third with MV Agusta) joined him on the podium, while Cortese ranked fourth.

THE REST – Behind the front group Randy Krummenacher finished fifth a difficult race, during which he had to recover after bad Superpole. Behind him Anthony West (who cut the final chicane at the last lap), Niki TuuliLucas MahiasLuke Stapleford and Hikari Okubo closed the top 10. 11th place for Rob Hartog, once again ESS winner. To be remarked the unlucky performance of Massimo Roccoli: the five times Italian Supersport Champion had a great start and was in the front group on an Italian Championship-spec Yamaha, but then he crashed during the fourth lap. No race for Davide Stirpe, who had a huge crash during Warm Up Session (from which he fortunately escaped uninjured).

Photo Credit: Marco Lanfranchi


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