The 2021 FIM Supersport World Championship took to Autodrom Most in Race 1 on Saturday afternoon, and it was building to be a thrilling finish before a Red Flag was waved. A hair-raising opening few laps eventually settled down and it was Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) who took victory as the Red Flag came out, denying Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGO Team) and Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing).
Just as the race was reaching its climax, the Red Flag was displayed as the race had just tipped into two-thirds race distance, meaning the race would not be restarted and full points were on offer. Odendaal took his fourth win of the year, ahead of Manuel Gonzalez who took his first WorldSSP podium. Philipp Oettl took third behind the Yamahas, with Odendaal giving Yamaha a 104th win in WorldSSP, meaning they equal Honda’s record at the top in terms of manufacturers’ wins in WorldSSP.
Dominique Aegerter took fourth place ahead of Federico Caricasulo and Luca Bernardi, whilst early race leader Jules Cluzel dropped to seventh. Another early leader, Can Öncü, was eighth as he dropped back through the race, ahead of Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) and Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team). Randy Krummenacher (EAB Racing Team) was 11th, ahead of Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura), Kevin Manfredi (Altogo Racing Team), Galang Hendra Pratama (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) and Federico Fuligni (VFT Racing) completing the points.
P1 Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team)
“I’m so happy to be on the top step of the podium. It’s my wife’s home race so I’m so excited to represent her. I’m really excited to be back on the podium. Just a pity that it was Red Flagged because I think the last couple of laps would’ve been a nice battle between me, Gonzalez and Oettl but full gas, and full gas for South Africa. It was nice to get this win.”
P2 Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team)
“The race was going really well for me because I was with the SC0 at the back. I knew in the last laps I would could try to pass Odendaal and try to push the last laps because the tyre was really good, the bike was working perfectly. I did fastest lap. A bit disappointed because the Red Flag stopped the race, but I have to be really happy because this position is my best. I will try to improve tomorrow.”
P3 Philipp Oettl
“I had a really great race, to be honest. I was fighting for the lead from the first lap and my teammate was crazy. Maybe I have to talk to him later on to calm him down later on a bit because the race isn’t won on the first lap. I choose the SCX, the softer tyre, it was a good decision especially, although I didn’t know, the Red Flag was helping us a lot today. I’m happy with our race pace. I was working the whole race on my riding style to generate some grip and it was helping. Tomorrow, I try my best again and try to win.”
WorldSSP Autodrom Most – Race 1
1. Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team)
2. Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team) +0.430s
3. Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) +0.521s
4. Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) +2.192s
5. Federico Caricasulo (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) +5.294s
6. Luca Bernardi (CM Racing) +5.316s.
Championship Standings (after Race 1, Round 6)
1. Dominique Aegerter (SUI) Yamaha (182 points)
2. Steven Odendaal (RSA) Yamaha (150 points)
3. Philipp Oettl (GER) Kawasaki (124 points).
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of Dorna WSBK Organization Srl