The FIM Supersport World Championship title race came to a dramatic conclusion at the Circuito San Juan Villicum during the Motul Argentinean Round as Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was crowned 2021 Champion with a third-place finish, as Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) maintained his perfect record at San Juan Villicum with another commanding victory, making it four out of four in South America.
Cluzel and Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) both got good starts as the lights went out, as did Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) but the South African rider, who needed to outscore title rival Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) by at least three points to keep the Championship going to Indonesia, found himself on the floor after Turn 1 contact with Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team); the incident placed under investigation by the FIM WorldSBK Stewards. With Odendaal having to fight his way back through the field, Aegerter was crowned World Champion after finishing in third place, his first World Championship title in his rookie WorldSSP campaign. Odendaal’s fightback ended on Lap 13 from 14th place after crashing at Turn 15.
The incident allowed Cluzel and Öncü to battle it out at the front of the field in the early stages of the 19-lap race, with Cluzel under pressure from the Turkish star. As the race entered the second half of the race, Cluzel started to pull away from Öncü and went on to claim his fourth victory at the San Juan circuit; maintaining his 100% record in Argentina. Öncü was able to hold second place for his second consecutive podium and third of his WorldSSP career.
Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) was a beneficiary of the incident at Turn 1 as he moved into third place as he looked for his maiden podium, but soon found himself under pressure from Aegerter and Finland’s Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti). Both were able to make their way past the Hungarian rider.
Aegerter would go on to claim third place after dropping to ninth at the start following the Lap 1 incident to secure his first WorldSSP Championship with a podium finish, becoming the second Swiss rider in three years to claim the title. It was also Ten Kate Racing’s tenth WorldSSP title and their first with Yamaha. Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) battled his way through the field to claim fourth place after a late move on Sebestyen, with the Hungarian rider coming home in fifth place after a strong weekend; the first top-five for a Hungarian rider since Imre Toth at Monza in 2012 who finished fourth, while it was also Sebestyen’s best result of the campaign.
P1 Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha)
“Amazing! It’s a perfect weekend, I’ve never done that. It’s crazy, I’m so happy. As I say every time, I’m racing to enjoy and this weekend I enjoyed it so much. Let’s enjoy this moment, keep the mood like this for the last race. It was a crazy race, I really pushed hard from the beginning to the end. I did a really fast lap time at the end to try to make a gap to Öncü, but he was really strong today. Congratulations to him, congratulations to Aegerter to be World Champion. I want to wish a happy birthday to my grandmother because she is 80 today.”
P2 Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
“This weekend, we worked very hard. From Friday, we were strong and on Saturday we were trying to push, and we finished third because the other two guys were a little bit faster. This morning, Kenan told me that we needed to do a low 1m42 every lap, so we did it and we finished second. I’m really happy. I tried to just follow Cluzel and I had a really good feeling. I’m very happy and will try to do it again in Indonesia.”
P3 Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha)
“It’s fantastic to finish with the World Championship early… I don’t know what to say, I’m a little lost for words! It’s nice to be on the podium and to be World Champion. Just to say a big thanks to the Ten Kate team, they did a fantastic job. Today, the bike was better than yesterday. We were a little bit lucky at the first corner. We had a fantastic season, we had ten wins, many podiums and it’s just an amazing season. In my rookie season, to finish first is very nice. I hope tonight I can celebrate with some Argentinean fans, with my team and, for sure, we will have a big party tonight with some espresso!”
WorldSSP Results Race 2
1. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha)
2. Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +2.157s
3. Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +5.525s
4. Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) +12.152s
5. Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) +12.979s
6. Valentin Debise (GMT94 Yamaha) +16.864s.
Championship Standings (after Race 2, Round 12)
1. Dominique Aegerter (SUI) Yamaha (381 points)
2. Steven Odendaal (RSA) Yamaha (313 points)
3. Manuel Gonzalez (ESP) Yamaha (275 points)
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of Dorna WSBK Organization Srl