GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team rider Federico Caricasulo secured his first race win of the season at Misano today, with a dominant performance in front of his home crowd. Lucas Mahias was left frustrated after contact with another rider saw him crash out of the race on only the second lap, while European Supersport Cup rider Alfonso Coppola also crashed on the same lap but remounted to finish 23rd.
Starting from pole position after dominating qualifying on Saturday, Caricasulo was forced to sit in behind Jules Cluzel for the opening three laps, after the Frenchman took the advantage from the start. Clearly the faster rider, Caricasulo made his move on lap three with a clean pass on Cluzel to take the race lead. Setting a fast and consistent pace at the front the Italian was never headed for the remainder of the race and crossed the line to claim his first win of the season and his first since the Jerez race in 2017. The win sees Caricasulo jump from sixth to fourth in the championship standings with 104 points, 12 points adrift of third-placed Randy Krummenacher.
A flying start from the second row of the grid saw Mahias make it into the leading trio by the end of the opening lap. The 29-year-old Frenchman was fighting for position with Raffaele de Rosa when a hard pass from the Italian at turn 10 resulted in contact between the two. Mahias was pushed wide and onto the dirty part of the track, where he crashed without injury. With no points secured today Mahias slipped one place in the championship standings from fourth to fifth.
Coppola’s hopes of a back-to-back points scoring finish were dashed on lap two today, when he suffered a low side crash at turn two. Fortunately the 20-year-old Italian was able to remount and rejoin the race, gaining more valuable experience in his rookie WorldSSP season.
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team – 1st
“I’m really happy to win here at Misano, as it’s always special to win in front of your home crowd. This weekend I had the perfect bike and for that I need to thank both my team and Yamaha for their work and commitment. There is no better way to end the first half of the season with a win, so we go into the summer break on a high.”
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team – DNF
“My start was good and I knew I had the rhythm to fight at the front as we’d worked a lot in free practice towards that. De Rosa braked very hard and I tried to put in a pass, but he was so close to crashing. On the second attempt I managed to get in front, but then he came straight back at me with a very hard pass and there was contact. It pushed me wide and when I touched the gas I had a highside and that was my race over. It’s not the way to end what had been a good weekend for us and it’s certainly not good for my championship. I’m angry because it was a hard pass, too hard, but the focus now must be on the next race.”
GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Junior Team – 23rd +1’27.667
“I made a good start and got away with the group fighting for points, but immediately my feeling with the front wasn’t good and I wasn’t able to stay with them. Then at turn two I lost the front and crashed. I managed to rejoin and finish, but this is not the result we were looking for. All weekend I have not had such a good feeling, so this is something we need to work on ahead of the next race.”
GRT Yamaha Offical WorldSSP Team Manager
“We wanted to win for Bruno today and that’s exactly what Federico did. We really needed this win today because for so much time we couldn’t reach our target, but now we’ve made a step and we’re back where we have to be. Federico made a fantastic qualifying yesterday and backed that up with a fantastic race today, which he deserved to win. Thanks to him, his team, to everyone who supports us and to Yamaha for making this possible. It was unfortunate for Lucas to crash after the contact because he also had the pace to fight for the win today. Unfortunately Alfonso also crashed at the beginning but was able to rejoin and complete the race. He just needs to continue to focus and improve his knowledge because that’s his target in his rookie season.”