Italian rookie Andrea Locatelli has produced a World Supersport masterclass in round one of the 2020 Supersport World Championship at Phillip Island.
The Yamaha rider was in total control from the get-go, launching off the line from pole position and then continuing is dominance for the balance of the 16-lap race – which included a mandatory pit stop for a new rear tyre.
Locatelli’s final winning margin was 5.817 seconds over Raffaele de Rosa (MV Agusta), with Jules Cluzel completing the podium on his Yamaha – a strong result for the Frenchman after a massive crash on Saturday.
The last rookie to win a WorldSSP race on debut was Randy Krummenacher in 2016.
And 23-year old Locatelli’s path to victory was undoubtedly made easier after world champion Krummenacher (MV Agusta) crashed on lap one. The Swiss hard-charger got off to a bad start and, while attempting to make up for lost time, ran too wide at the unforgiving turn one – his title defence getting off to the same agonising start as Jonathan Rea in yesterday’s WorldSBK openeR.
In a twist of fortunes, Locatelli is riding the very same machine which Krummenacher won the 2019 title on.
Meanwhile, Corentin Perolari (Yamaha) just edged out Luca Mahias (Kawasaki) in the battle for fourth position, and Hannes Soomer (Yamaha) was sixth.
Australia’s Oli Bayliss was a late withdrawal after a mechanical problem with his Yamaha – which was first diagnosed in qualifying – couldn’t be fixed in time to allow the 16-year to put his best foot forward on the world stage.
World Supersport Results
- Andrew Locatelli (Italy) Yamaha (55)
- Raffaele De Rosa (Italy) MV Agusta (3) + 5.817s
- Jules CLuzel (France) Yamaha (16) + 6.780s
- Corentin Perolari (France) Yamaha (94) + 11.372s
- Lucas Mahias (France) Kawasaki (44) + 11.423s
WORLD SUPERS – THE GREAT MATES’ ESCAPE
Tickets for Australia’s opening round of the 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, Yamaha Finance round at Phillip Island from Feb 28-March 1 are available at the Gate or at worldsbk.com.au
For further event information go to worldsbk.com.au