The FIM Supersport World Championship was a yet another fairing-bashing, head-to-head squabble, with nothing but pure action prevailing throughout the 18-lap encounter. In a group of six riders, it would be Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) who would take his first win of the season, to claw back points on his championship-leading teammate!
It was a frantic opening lap that saw Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) lead into Turn 1, whilst Randy Krummenacher slotted into second position. It was a rapid start for Austrian rider Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing) who was up to a mighty third position, whereas the same could not be said for Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team), who dropped down as far as eighth on the opening lap from second position on the grid. Hannes Soomer (MPM WILSport Racedays) maintained his starting position on the opening lap, with fourth position ahead of Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) in fifth.
Krummenacher took the lead of the race at the end of the opening lap, whilst title rival Jules Cluzel had pushed his way through the field to be fantastic second by Turn 6. It was a good opening few laps of the race for the (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) pairing of Lucas Mahias – Hikari Okubo, running well within what started out as a leading group of nine riders.
The group then fragmented, with top five escaping and initially leaving Lucas Mahias behind. However, it was a strong mid-race that brought Mahias back into the fight, bridging a big gap and setting the fastest lap of the race at the same time. Federico Caricasulo had begun his fight back and was already up to second, courtesy of mistakes of other riders. Raffaele De Rosa was also putting hard moves on riders, with a bold move at Turn 1 for third position, shoving Cluzel off line and back to sixth. Momentarily, this allowed Krummenacher and Caricasulo to escape.
However, just half a lap later, De Rosa crashed out at Turn 9, under pressure from Thomas Gradinger and trying to get back in the fight for the lead. The Italian was OK, remounted but returned his MV Agusta to the pits for a second non-score of the WorldSSP season. Now with the leading group down to five riders, the gloves were starting to come off!
The final lap soon beckoned and having stalked teammate Krummenacher for the majority of the second half of the race, Caricasulo put in a classy, sophisticated pass at Turn 8 to lead the race for the first time with just half a lap left to go. Krummenacher rode closely for the remaining few corners but wasn’t able to get back ahead!
Caricasulo took the victory ahead of his teammate, whilst Thomas Gradinger made history for Austria as he gave the nation their first WorldSSP podium. Jules Cluzel was off the podium for the second consecutive race in fourth, whilst Lucas Mahias took his best finish in 2019 with fifth, a little over a second back of winner, Federico Caricasulo.
Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA) was a strong sixth position, holding off Hikari Okubo and Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing). Rounding out the top ten, Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) was ninth and put on a fantastic display in front of his massive home crowd, whereas completing the top ten was Jules Danilo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), who finished as top Honda, following a late crash for Estonian, Hannes Soomer.
P1 – Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)
“I am pleased with this victory because I used to struggle a lot on this race track. But during the practices, we worked so hard to get our bike ready for the race. We achieved this goal; today the feeling with my Yamaha was perfect. I tried to stay calm and wait until the last moment. I knew I was fast in one sector, so I pushed hard there, and I was able to win”.
#NLDWorldSBK WorldSSP at TT Circuit Assen – Race
1. Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)
2. Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) +0.032
3. Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing) +0.223
WorldSSP Championship Standings after Round 4
1. Randy Krummenacher (SUI) Yamaha (90 points)
2. Federico Caricasulo (ITA) Yamaha (73 points)
3. Jules Cluzel (FRA) Yamaha (69 points)
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of WorldSBK.com