Michael Girotti Crowned 2022 Yamaha R7 SuperFinale Winner at Montmeló
After taking victory in the second of two thrilling races at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Italy’s Michael Girotti was crowned the 2022 Yamaha R7 SuperFinale winner, earning him a brand-new Yamaha R7 bike.
Girotti’s 34 points across the two races was enough to see him win the FIM Superbike World Championship supporting event by four points from Spain’s Eric Molina, while Argentina’s Matias Perez completed the first overall R7 SuperFinale podium.
Following earlier showers, the track dried out in Barcelona for the first race of the weekend, and pole-sitter Fabio Starnone led the field away. Several riders battled out front in the early stages, but Starnone dropped out of contention after completing a double long lap penalty imposed during Superpole.
Meanwhile, Filippo Rovelli had made an incredible start from 27th on the grid to run inside the top six after the opening lap. By Lap 2 Rovelli, who had initially qualified second but was dropped to the back of the grid after a penalty, had already made his way into the lead, but the pack behind continued to hound the Italian.
Perez, Molina and France’s Romain Maitre each battled with Rovelli for the win, as the top four pulled clear of those behind. In the end though, Rovelli timed his run perfectly, moving out front on the final lap to take a heroic last-to-first victory at Montmeló.
Molina crossed the line in second, ahead of Perez, who beat Maitre to the podium by just 0.066s. Starnone recovered to an impressive fifth-place finish, claiming the fastest lap in the process, with fellow Italian Nicola Campedelli coming home a lonely sixth.
Girotti came out on top of the seventh-place battle, with France’s Lucas Clement and Spain’s Oscar San Emeterio just behind, while Daniele Calzoni rounded out the top 10.
“It was a really fun race,” Rovelli said. “We were talking about the race strategy before we got underway, but I said to my team that there is no strategy, I just have to push from the first lap and get to the front as quick as possible. It was an amazing race, I enjoyed all of the overtakes and battles.”
This time starting back on the front row, Rovelli was once again in the lead fight, as he looked to double up in Spain to take home the R7 SuperFinale crown. The Race 1 winner moved into the lead on Lap 4 and managed to hold off his rivals through the middle stages once again.
However, with just a few laps remaining, Rovelli’s chances ended in the gravel, as he tucked the front at Turn 5 and was unable to continue. That left seven riders to battle it out for victory, and it was Campedelli who muscled his way out front as they headed onto the final lap.
Girotti then managed to snatch the lead away on the final lap, taking victory from Italy’s Lorenzo Gasperini, while Campedelli eventually crossed the line in third. With closest challengers Perez finishing fourth and Molina sixth, albeit just 0.644s behind the race-winner, Girotti was confirmed as the 2022 Yamaha R7 SuperFinale winner.
Maitre narrowly missed out on a podium for the second time this weekend in fifth, with fellow Frenchman Marcus Delestre seventh. This time, it was San Emeterio who beat Clement to eighth, with Spain’s Xavier Molines completing the top 10.
“It’s the happiest day of my life,” Girotti said. “I would like to say thank you to everyone who supported me, including the team, my parents and friends. I hope to continue having moments like this in the future. It’s great to win a Yamaha R7 bike – I would like to race this and I’m also looking to step into a 600 class for 2023.”