News 1 Mar 2020
Debut Phillip Island victory for Locatelli in WorldSSP affair
First-ever world championship race win for series newcomer.
Rookie Andrea Locatelli took a convincing win by almost six seconds at Phillip Island on debut in round one of the 2020 Supersport World Championship (WorldSSP).
The WorldSSP race featured a mandatory pit stop with stints not allowed to last more than 10 laps of the 16-lap race distance.
Bardahl Evans Bros. Yamaha rider Locatelli started from pole position and he led WorldSSP championship winners Randy Krummenacher (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) from the front row.
Krummenacher had a poor start and crashed in the opening sequence of corners as his title defence got off to the worst possible start. Mahias briefly led Locatelli into turn one, but the Italian rookie was able to re-pass the French rider into two. Mahias would eventually finish in fifth place.
Once Locatelli had re-taken the lead, he didn’t look back as he pulled out a six second lead over the course of 16 laps and was also the last of the front runners to make the mandatory pit stop as he pitted at the end of lap nine.
Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) finished behind Locatelli as Italian riders finished 1-2. De Rosa was one of the first riders to pit in the race when the pit window opened, as he dived into the pit-lane on lap seven along with Patryk Sebestyen (OXXO Yamaha Team Toth) and GMT94 Yamaha duo Jules Cluzel and Corentin Perolari.
It was a different strategy to the one race winner Locatelli took as he was the second last to pit – only Jaimie van Sikkelerus (MPM Routz Racing Team) pitting later.
Cluzel finished in third place despite picking up a time penalty for not adhering to the pit stop minimum time during his pit stop, but the 0.080s was not enough to affect his result as he finished five seconds clear of GMT94 teammate Perolari in fourth place.
Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) finished in sixth place, with 3.545s added on to his race time for an infringement of pit time not enough to move him down the order. This was partially due to Steven Odendaal (EAB Ten Kate Racing) also receiving a time penalty for the same reason. Soomer’s teammate Isaac Vinales finished in P10.
Australian wildcard Oli Bayliss was a non-starter this afternoon after his Cube Racing team was unable to rectify an issue with the WorldSSP-spec Yamaha that the team had built for Phillip Island.