Federico Caricasulo took his first race win of the 2019 season in Assen today, after a titanic battle with his Evan Bros. Bardahl Yamaha teammate Randy Krummenacher, who followed the Italian across the line in second. Kallio Racing Yamaha’s Thomas Gradinger finished third to claim his first podium finish since stepping up to the WorldSSP class full-time in 2018.
It was Krummenacher that made the early running, having started the race from pole position, battling at the front of the race with Raffaele De Rosa while Caricasulo was busy fighting his way back to the front group, after a measured start on the harder option front tyre saw him drop back from second on the grid to eighth place on the opening lap.
By half race distance it was Krummenacher who led the way, with Caricasulo closing fast after passing De Rosa for second place eight laps into the race. It was Krummenacher who led over the line to start the final lap, with his teammate glued to his rear wheel and Gradinger sitting comfortably in third place behind the Evan Bros. Bardahl Yamaha teammates.
Caricasulo waited until the entry to turn eight before making his move, up the inside of Krummenacher on the brakes and then defending the lead to the line to take his first WorldSSP race win of the 2019 season. Krummenacher followed his teammate home in second and Gradinger crossed the line in third to claim his first WorldSSP podium finish and the first for an Austrian in the class.
GMT94 Yamaha’s Jules Cluzel managed to squeeze his way past Lucas Mahias with two laps to go to secure fourth position but wasn’t able to close on the leading trio quickly enough to mount a last lap challenge for the podium. Corentin Perolari equalled his best result of the season so far in sixth, two places ahead of Kallio Racing Yamaha’s Isaac Viñales who finished in eighth place today.
Loris Cresson added to his championship points tally for the season with a solid ride to 13th place aboard his Kallio Racing Yamaha R6.
Today’s result means that Krummenacher leads the championship with 90 points, 17 more than Caricasulo who now sits second with 73 points. Cluzel lies third with 69 points and Gradinger’s podium finish today means he now has 40 points and moves up from sixth to fourth in the championship standings.
Evan Bros. Bardahl Yamaha Supported WorldSSP – P1
“I’m really happy to win, especially here in Assen, which is not one of my favourite tracks. I worked hard all weekend with the team to make sure I had the best bike possible today and, in the race, I tried to ride more with my head than my heart. I took it fairly easy from the start, as I was running the harder option front tyre and knew it would take time to get up to temperature, but the pace was there from the start and I was able to work my way up to the leading group quite quickly. It’s a great feeling to win my first race of the season and the first with this team and I want to thank everyone in the team for such a fantastic job.”
Kallio Racing Yamaha Supported WorldSSP – P3
“I am so happy! In Aragon we showed we could be in the fight for the podium, but just missed out in the end, so it’s like a dream to come to the very next race and actually finish on the podium for the first time. It was a really tough race, especially at the start, but I managed to work my way up to the leading group and into third place with six laps to go. Once there I just tried to defend the position to the very last lap and it was amazing to cross the line in third place to finish on the podium finally. Big thanks to me team, my crew and my family, who have worked so hard for me. It’s just amazing.”