The Pata Riviera di Rimini Round played host to the seventh WorldSSP race of 2019, a frantic 20-lap encounter which saw the WorldSSP championship pendulum continue to swing and add drama to the title race. Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) took the win ahead teammate Federico Caricasulo, after a thrilling final lap.
Starting from pole position, it was Lucas Mahias who took the lead into Turn 1, whilst Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) surged through but almost tagged his fellow countryman, allowing Federico Caricasulo and Randy Krummenacher to take advantage. With the race settling into a pattern, Mahias had the advantage ahead of the BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team riders, with Jules Cluzel and Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) in fourth and fifth respectively.
Caricasulo and Krummenacher battled at the start of the second lap, with the Swiss rider forcing his way into second at Turn 4. A lap later, the pair were ahead of Lucas Mahias, as the familiar sight of the Swiss and the Italian out front, with Cluzel leading the charge to Mahias for the final podium place.
The lead order changed numerous times over the next few laps, with Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) in the leading group until a crash at Turn 1 on Lap 4, whilst Raffaele De Rosa crashed a lap later at Turn 6. Caricasulo took the lead at Turn 10, with Krummenacher second and Mahias holding off Cluzel and Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing).
Krummenacher took the lead back at Turn 1 at the start of Lap 9, leading for five laps whilst the battle simmered down, and everyone held their own stations, evaluating their strengths and weaknesses. It was a mistake on Lap 14 that allowed his teammate Caricasulo back ahead at Turn 10, with the Italian taking the lead provoking the cheers of the home crowd. Two laps later though, Krummenacher took the lead back, moving Caricasulo out wide at Turn 4.
In the final three laps, the gloves were off and Krummenacher had the advantage from his teammate, whilst 2017 WorldSSP Champion Mahias latched onto the back of the battling Yamaha duo. Behind them, a big gap back to Cluzel and Okubo, with the Frenchman starting to drop the Japanese rider. Completing the top six was wildcard Lorenzo Gabellini (GOMMA Racing), putting in an exceptional ride.
On the final lap, it was a lunge at Turn 1 from Federico Caricasulo that nearly took himself and his teammate out. The Italian barged ahead at Turn 8, pushing his teammate out wide but there was still more to come with half-a-lap to go. A desperate move from Krummenacher at Turn 14 pushed his way through, with Caricasulo cutting back to try and get the drive on the exit of the corner. The two touched on the run to Turn 15, before Krummenacher blocked the inside line at Turn 16, doing enough to secure the win! Mahias charged late on but it was Caricasulo who took second ahead of the Frenchman who completed the podium – his first of the year.
Fourth position went to Jules Cluzel ahead of Hikari Okubo – making it two Puccetti Racing Kawasakis inside the top five. Gabellini took sixth, ahead of Hannes Soomer (MPM WILSport Racedays) who took his joint-best result of his career. Wildcard Kevin Manfredi (Team Rosso e Nero) was eighth, whilst Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing) and Massimo Roccoli (Team Rosso Corsa) completed the top ten.
The championship lead is now 22 points for Krummenacher, as he takes the advantage with five races to go in 2019.
P1 – Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)
1. Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)
2. Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) +0.084
3. Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.161
1. Randy Krummenacher (SUI) Yamaha (160 points)
2. Federico Caricasulo (ITA) Yamaha (138 points)
3. Jules Cluzel (FRA) Yamaha (107 points)
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of WorldSBK.com