Misano WorldSBK: Aegerter wins WorldSSP after track limits drama

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Picture: GeeBee Images

WorldSSP Champion Dominique Aegerter claimed another race victory on Saturday after track limits decided the podium after the flag.

The Swiss rider collected his sixth top step trophy after heartbreak for home talent Lorenzo Baldassarri saw the Evan Bros. rider demoted a position having crossed the line a tenth ahead of his title rival. Aruba Ducati’s race-long leader Nicolo Bulega faded in the final stages to complete the podium in third.

Ten Kate Yamaha’s Aegerter was in control of the grid as the lights released for the 18 lap supersport race but it was Bulega who grabbed the lead through turn one. Baldassarri battling Puccetti Kawasaki’s Yari Montella for third with teammate Can Öncü holding off Althea’s Federico Caricasulo in the top six.

A three rider crash found Renzi Corse’s Matteo Patacca, MV Agusta’s Bahattin Sofuoglu and Prodina’s Tom Booth-Amos down at turn eight on the opening lap with Sofuoglu able to rejoin the action. EAB’s Glenn van Straalen also out in the early stages with a technical retirement.

Bulega pulled a second on the defending champion as the race unfolded with new lap record pace, Baldassarri assessing his title rival for a move for second

Motozoo’s Jeffrey Buis became the next to fall with Barni’s Oli Bayliss relinquishing top ten potential on his way to the back of the pack. Orelac’s Raffaele de Rosa mirroring the Australian’s turn three crash next time around.

Stefano Manzi ran eighth on the Dynavolt Triumph with Marcel Brenner’s VFT Yamaha the next in his sights. MV Agusta’s Mattia Casadei and GMT94’s Jules Cluzel completing the top ten behind as Ben Currie became the latest casualty of the Italian venue on the second Motozoo machine.

Just Aegerter and Öncü - in second and fourth respectively - spoiled the all-Italian showing in the top eight with ten laps to go. Caricasulo and Montella dispatching the Turk out of the top five next time around as the Elf liveried Puccetti pair ran fifth and sixth.

Late race pace came into its own for Aegerter once again as the Ten Kate rider reeled in Bulega as the second half began. The gap down to less than two tenths at the halfway stage with Baldassarri a further half a second behind. Caricasulo with a nine-second deficit to bridge in his podium hunt.

The top trio were inseparable with seven to go. Bulega defending his lead from the pursuing Yamaha’s with the experienced Swiss carefully biding his time. A mechanical calling time on Caricasulo’s podium challenge with a near miss in the closing stages. Kyle Smith the next Misano victim with four laps left to run.

Öncü was back in fourth as the race neared its conclusion, teammate Montella now behind with Manzi and Cluzel bickering for sixth and Casadei, Brenner and Adrian Huertas completing the top ten.

Aegerter made the break in the penultimate lap before immediately gassing the R6 with the top step in his sights. Baldassarri following suit to leave Bulega demoted to third before the Evan Bros. Yamaha stole the advantage on the final lap.

The trio were inseparable again in the final stages, Baldassarri claiming the victory from Aegerter with Bulega just 0.184s shy at the flag for another dramatic encounter. The results under investigation with Aegerter given the victory by the FIM Stewards with Baldassarri docked a position for exceeding track limits on the final lap.

Öncü consolidated fourth from Manzi and Montella with Cluzel, Casadei, Brenner and Huertas completing the top ten.

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