DOUBLE DOWN UNDER: Montella fends off Schroetter for WorldSSP Race 2 victory

Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) made it two from two at the iconic Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit as he resisted Marcel Schroetter’s (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) late-race challenge for his second win in two days. Taking a maximum 50-point haul from the Grand Ridge Brewery Australian Round, the #55 heads back to Europe full of confidence after his Australian masterclass in the FIM Supersport World Championship.

TWO FROM TWO: Montella unbeatable, Manzi crashes twice

Due to track conditions and oil needing to be cleared from a substantial portion of the track after an oil spill in a domestic championship race, there was a lengthy delay. As a consequence, the race was reduced to nine laps, and, because of this, the mandatory pit stop was removed. When the lights did go out, Race 1 winner Montella immediately pulled out a gap of around eight tenths over his rivals before expanding that to more than a second on Lap 2.

While Montella managed the lead out in front, Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Stefano Manzi (Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing) battled for second third but, as the race hit the halfway mark, the gap started to reduce. A series of fast laps from Schroetter allowed him to bring Manzi and Adrian Huertas ( Racing WorldSSP Team), who had surged from tenth on the grid to the podium fight. On Lap 6, Manzi had a lowside crash at Turn 4 and dropped out of contention, re-joining the race in 15th place. However, he took a second crash when he tried to climb through the field, on Lap 7 at Turn 10 before he brought his bike into the pits.

This promoted Huertas to third while Schroetter set his sights on Montella out in front, with the gap around half-a-second on Lap 7 before it came down to four tenths on the start of the final lap. Montella managed to withstand Schroetter’s challenge for his second consecutive win, his first WorldSSP double and his third win – all have come at Phillip Island. Schroetter’s ninth podium means he’s now two away from the record of rostrums without a victory, while Huertas claimed his first WorldSSP podium.

A STRONG START: consistency the key?

Federico Caricasulo (Motozoo ME AIR Racing) claimed another fourth position as his career on the F3 800 RR machine started in style, with ‘Carica’ around five seconds down on Montella. He was just 0.265s behind Valentin Debise (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) in fifth, who had been in the early podium fight before dropping back. Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) ended his weekend with his second consecutive P6, after finishing there in Race 1, although he didn’t have to fight from the back of the grid in Race 2 like he did in Race 1.

LOCAL HERO IN THE TOP TEN: Bayliss ends home round in style

Lucas Mahias (GMT94 Yamaha) was seventh and just eight tenths away from the top six, with the Frenchman the last of the lead group. He had a five-second margin over John McPhee (WRP-RT Motorsport by SKM-Triumph) in eighth. McPhee finished as the lead Triumph rider as his new adventure started strongly, with Lorenzo Baldassarri (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) in ninth and Oli Bayliss (D34G Racing WorldSSP Team) completed the top ten on home soil.

TAKING POINTS HOME: a strong end to the opening round

Yeray Ruiz (VFT Racing Yamaha) was 11th and just a tenth away from the top ten, with the Spaniard leading home two Triumph riders. Jorge Navarro (WRP-RT Motorsport by SKM-Kawasaki) was 12th ahead of Tom Booth-Amos (PTR Triumph), the rider Manzi was trying to overtake when he crashed for a second time, in 13th. Niki Tuuli (EAB Racing Team) and Anupab Sarmoon (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) completed the points.

TO NOTE: Oncu misses out on points, van Straalen penalised

Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) missed out on points as he took 16th place, ahead of rookie Niccolo Antonelli (Ecosantagata Althea Racing Team), wildcard Tom Toparis (Stop & Seal Racing) and Ondrej Vostatek (PTR Triumph). Glenn van Straalen (Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing) was 20th after he had to serve a Long Lap Penalty. The Dutchman was penalised for a crash in Race 1 with Oncu, which he took in the early stages of Sunday’s race.

The top six from WorldSSP Race 2, full results here:

1. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team)

2. Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +0.203s

3. Adrian Huertas ( Racing WorldSSP Team) +1.658s

4. Federico Caricasulo (Motozoo ME AIR Racing) +5.289s

5. Valentin Debise (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Racing Team) +5.554s

6. Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) +5.677s

Championship standings

1. Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) 50 points

2. Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) 36

3. Federico Caricasulo (Motozoo ME AIR Racing) 26

4. Stefano Manzi (Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing) 20

5. Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) 20

6. Oliver Bayliss (D34G Racing WorldSSP Team) 17

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