Round Five of the World Supersport Championship from Imola finally got underway this afternoon after the World Superbike Race 2 following an initial delayed start then a further two red flags due to incidents and resulting track conditions.
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Jules Cluzel had a disappointing result in the shortened to 11-lap race after he was swamped in the first corner of the first lap. He said: “I am really disappointed with this weekend. On Friday I tried to get in the race pace really quickly and I did so we were really happy. In the afternoon we tried to make some improvements and then I crashed. I started to lose confidence so that was not a good session. In qualifying we were close to the time but not close enough. Today the race was crazy. Everybody was so excited and the problem when you start mid group you are in the middle of everybody so I lost a lot of time at the start. I didn’t make a bad start but I was blocked and someone nearly crashed in front of me. I just tried to finish the race without mistakes. Sixth is some points but the target is to be leading and to try to catch points from the Championship so I am disappointed.”
Hikari Okubo secured another top ten finish in 9th which was the tonic he needed after the disappointment of the last round at Assen where he finished 21st and he goes into the next round at Donington Park with renewed confidence.
Robin Mulhauser had been looking forward to capitalising on the near perfect weather conditions in Italy to regain his pace but the Swiss rider had to settle for 18th position after struggling all weekend.
Imola first-timer, Hiromichi Kunikawa put in a solid, confidence boosting performance to finish in the top twenty at the technical and demanding circuit.
CIA Landlord Insurance Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster said: “Sixth is not where we want to be. It’s a disappointing result for Jules and the team. We have already discussed this and we all know we need to make it happen. We now go to Donington Park; a good circuit for our bike and I am sure we will be fighting hard at the front with Jules. Hikari regained his confidence and put in another good top ten finish. I’m happy for him and his crew. Despite struggling here Robin stuck to his task and will come back stronger next round. First time in the top 20 for Hiromichi which is a good confidence boost for him as he learns all the tracks”
1 K. Sofuoglu
2 L. Mahias +0.438
3 P. Jacobsen +1.573
4 S. Morais +8.405
5 K. Smith +9.181
6 J. Cluzel CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +9.474
7 C. Gamarino +12.979
8 L. Cresson +16.665
9 H. Okubo CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +16.966
10 A. Zaccone +17.957
18 R. Muhauser CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +45.845
20 H. Kunikawa CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +52.633