GMT94 Yamaha Supported WorldSSP rider, Jules Cluzel, secured his third race win of the season with a dominant performance in a thrilling WorldSSP race at Circuito San Juan Villicum today. The Frenchman, who celebrated his 31st birthday yesterday, took over the race lead from his teammate and pole sitter, Corentin Perolari, two laps into the race and simply rode away from the field to victory.
From the start, it was an all-French affair at the front of the race, with first Perolari and then Cluzel leading the way, pursued by their fellow countryman Lucas Mahias. Cluzel was quick to take advantage of the battle for position going on behind him and with a series of fast laps, including a new lap record, the GMT94 Yamaha rider had pulled out a gap of three seconds at the front by half race distance.
While Cluzel was focused on pulling away, Bardahl Evan Bros. Yamaha Supported WorldSSP rider, Federico Caricasulo, was steadily making his way through the field, picking off riders as he went to eventually head the group chasing the race leader. With Mahias, Perolari, Kallio Racing Yamaha’s Isaac Viñales and Bardahl Yamaha teammate, Randy Krummenacher, in his wake, Caricasulo started pushing to reduce Cluzel’s lead, whilst simultaneously defending against attacks from a hard charging Mahias.
With six laps to go Mahias overtook Caricasulo to take second, dragging Krummenacher past the Italian in his wake and Perolari took advantage when the Bardahl Yamaha rider ran wide to also force his way past, relegating Caricasulo to fifth.
Mahias pushed hard to close the gap to Cluzel, but the GMT94 Yamaha rider’s lead proved unsurmountable and he crossed the line with more than a two second advantage to take his third race win of the season. The result saw Cluzel close the gap to championship leader Krummenacher to 22 points and, numerically at least, still a championship contender going into the final round of the season in Qatar.
Mahias took second place, with Viñales getting the better of a five-way battle to claim a second successive podium finish in third.
Pole sitter Perolari held off the Bardahl Yamaha riders to finish fourth, with Caricasulo fifth and Krummenacher forced to settle for seventh place behind Raffaele De Rosa, after losing ground following contact with his teammate on the penultimate lap. Thomas Gradinger followed Krummenacher home in eighth, with his Kallio Racing Yamaha teammate Loris Cresson 14th.
Krummenacher retains his lead in the championship standings but saw his advantage over teammate Caricasulo reduced from 10 to 8 points with just the final round in Qatar remaining.
GMT94 Yamaha Supported WorldSSP – P1
“That was an amazing feeling. Ahead of the race I thought we could secure a good result today, but nothing like this. It was a dream race; I pushed at the beginning, but I didn’t know what pace the others were capable of until I saw that I was pulling away at the front. I could see the gap going up, but when it got to 2.2 seconds it got more difficult as it stayed like that for quite a while. But I wanted three seconds, so I pushed harder and with six laps to go my advantage was slightly more than that. Then I started to relax a little bit and just tried to manage the gap to the end of the race. Like I said, an amazing feeling and massive thanks to the team because this weekend we made a big step and today I had one of the best feelings on the bike.”
Kallio Racing Yamaha Supported WorldSSP – P3
“That was an incredible race, but a hard one too! I lost quite a lot of time in the first few laps and had to chase back onto the leading group, then I made a mistake and lost contact again, which meant another chase to recover the couple of seconds lost. I managed to fight my way to the front of the group in the closing stages and then hold everyone off to finish on the podium for the second time in as many races. I’m really happy.”