Evan Bros. Bardahl Yamaha Supported WorldSSP rider, Randy Krummenacher, celebrated his 29th birthday in style with a resounding victory in the opening race of the 2019 Supersport World Championship in Phillip Island today. The Swiss rider rode a calculated race to win by more than five seconds from GMT94 Yamaha Supported WorldSSP rider, Jules Cluzel. Krummenacher’s Bardahl Yamaha teammate, Federico Caricasulo, claimed the final podium position in third.
For safety reasons, today’s 16-lap race included a mandatory pit stop, with riders free to choose when to do their pit-stop to change tyres, under the condition that no tyre was used for more than 10 laps.
It was Cluzel who took the advantage to lead from the start, but the Frenchman was quickly overhauled and then gapped by the Bardahl Yamaha pairing of Krummenacher and pole position qualifier, Caricasulo. The Swiss rider led the race initially, but the Italian found a way past his teammate on lap six.
Krummenacher and Cluzel were the first to head in for the mandatory tyre change at the end of lap seven, with both riders managing clean stops. The same wasn’t true of Caricasulo, however. The Italian stopped at the end of lap eight but was delayed in pit lane after trying to exit with the rear stand still attached to the bike, an error that cost him almost 10 seconds in delay.
After his stop, Krummenacher quickly re-established a commanding lead at the front of the race, with Cluzel chasing hard in second and Caricasulo pushing to make up the deficit in third. But Krummenacher wasn’t to be denied his first win of the season, controlling the race masterfully from the front and taking the victory with a five-second advantage over his closest rival.
Cluzel picked up important championship points in second, while Caricasulo claimed the final podium spot in third.
After an intense battle with Hikari Okubo in the second half of the race, Kallio Racing Yamaha Supported WorldSSP rider, Thomas Gradinger, eventually got the better of the Japanese rider to finish fifth, with GMT94 Yamaha’s Perolari close behind in seventh.
Kallio Racing Yamaha’s Loris Cresson was happy to secure points in the opening race of the season, as the young Belgian brought his Kallio Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 home in a creditable tenth place.
Kallio Racing Yamaha’s Isaac Viñales was left disappointed after failing to finish in his WorldSSP debut in Phillip Island. Having re-joined the race following a minor crash at turn two in the opening laps, the Spaniard was forced to retire with just three laps remaining due to damage sustained in the crash.
Evan Bros. Bardahl Yamaha Supported WorldSSP – P1
“What a great day; it couldn’t be any better really! The pit stop made for a special race, but I tried to stay calm when I came in and my team did a fantastic job of changing the tyre; it was the perfect stop. To win the first race here in Phillip Island is a great way to start the season, and a good way to celebrate my birthday too!”
GMT94 Yamaha Supported WorldSSP – P2
“I’m really happy because this is like a victory for me. We struggled a little bit in practice but came back step-by-step, but Randy and Federico were really quick this weekend, so for me it was nearly impossible to think about finishing second or to win the race without a mistake from them. I think we did a really good job with the pit stop and I was strong from the first until the last lap, but not the fastest, so it’s good to finish second here today.”