Today’s WorldSSP race in Argentina provided yet another talking point, all positive this time, as the championship fight will go to the final round in Qatar in two week’s time. And it is still open to three riders, not just the expected two.
Pole man Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) led the early stages until eventual winner Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) pushed past and ran clear, at lap record pace for a time, to lead. He finally won by 2.406 seconds from Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and 3.473 from Isaac Vinales (Kallio Racing Yamaha).
Cluzel’s 1’42.670 on lap five added to his own advantage and he moved to nearly a three second margin on lap nine of 19. Mahias would improve that lap record again on lap ten, to a 1’42.606.
Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha), one of the main challengers for ultimate glory, got to second on lap six ahead of the combative Mahias. Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha), the championship leader, was fifth, and in contention for a podium at half race distance.
With all riders on A fronts and rears, standard SC1s and SC0s respectively, it was just riders against the track and each other.
A pass on Caricasulo sent him down to fifth place, as Krummenacher pushed up to third, with six to go.
Vinales was aggressive in his passes on both Caricasulo and then Krummenacher, allowing Caricasulo to get into Krummenacher’s slipstream.
The pass from the Italian came with just under two laps to go, as he dived inside Krummenacher and they touched, pushing the Swiss rider wide and losing him two positions.
Some hard overtakes near the end dropped the two Bardahl riders to eventual fifth and seventh place finishes, meaning that Cluzel’s win left him with a very slim chance of the title.
Perolari was fourth, and the slow starting Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) sixth.
Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing Yamaha) was eighth, Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) ninth and Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) tenth.
In the championship standings, with one round left, Krummenacher has 202 points, Caricasulo 194 and Cluzel – 22 behind the lead - on 180.