In an enthralling FIM Supersport World Championship finale at Estoril, Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Andrea Locatelli backed up his Race 1 victory with a battling ride to second on Sunday, as he bows out from the championship with an astonishing 12 victories and 13 podiums.
After charging from pole position to victory in Saturday’s opener at the Circuito Estoril, Locatelli endured a difficult start to Race 2, dropping to fourth into Turn 1. Over the next 10 laps, eight riders battled for victory with the Italian a constant threat just outside the podium places.
On the final tour, the 2020 WorldSSP champion made his move, taking third in the opening sequence of corners before challenging Raffaele De Rosa for second. On the run out the final corner, Locatelli got a good exit and powered passed the Italian’s Ducati to cross the line just 0.002s ahead.
Kallio Racing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Isaac Vinales, who was fourth in Race 1, was also in the lead battle for much of the 18-lap encounter, and was just 0.779s outside of the podium places in sixth at the finish, while he also took the fastest lap.
Teammate Hannes Soomer took a sensational third consecutive podium on Saturday and was on a charge again from 13th in the second race. The 22-year-old Estonian climbed into the lead battle and eventually finished eighth.
Just behind was GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Jules Cluzel, who once again impressed despite it being his first weekend back since his injury in the Teruel round, crossing the line less than a second adrift of Soomer in ninth.
GMT94 Yamaha’s Corentin Perolari ended his 2020 campaign in 13th, ahead of bLU cRU Yamaha WorldSSP Team by MS Racing’s Andy Verdoïa, who progressed from 22nd to take the final point in 15th at the notoriously hard-to-pass Portuguese circuit, as teammate Galang Pratama Hendra fell out of contention.
Andrea Locatelli: P1 & P2
Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team
“I was really happy with the race, but it was not so easy for us. I wasn’t so comfortable with the bike here, but we managed to win yesterday and score another podium today, which is great. It’s been an amazing year, only now do I appreciate really how strong it has been for us. Until the end I remained focused and the goal was always to win races. I’d like to thank the Evan Bros Yamaha team for everything they’ve done for me this season, it’s been an incredible experience. I’m very excited about next year in WorldSBK, I can’t wait to be on the Yamaha R1 and hopefully we will be in the mix.”