CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Peter Sebestyen overcame treacherous track conditions to score his first top ten finish in World Supersport at the final race of the season at the Losail International Circuit this evening.
Severe rain storms earlier in the day left large puddles of water lying on the surface of an otherwise dry track but Sebestyen felt strong on the dirty, wet parts of the circuit and was determined to achieve his 2018 goal of a top ten finish.
Sebestyen said: “For today I didn’t want to change anything because for one day with these kind of conditions I didn’t want to change my riding style so I tried to be calm but very aggressive in the first laps. It was my best first few laps of the year so I’m happy about it but I couldn’t keep the pace with the top group. In the second part of the race I felt like I could pass Badovini and finally we scored tenth position which was the goal for this year. I am happy about it and we will see next year, I hope we will be even better. I want to say a big thanks to CIA Landlord Insurance Honda, they have got my career back on track.”
There was no joy for teammate Kyle Smith in today’s shortened race when his clutch lever was damaged in a collision with Thomas Gradinger on the opening lap. Smith managed to keep it together, even posting a fastest lap but he couldn’t select the gear into the corner and slid off at turn seven on the fifth lap.
Smith said: “Such a frustrating way to finish the season. I had a coming together with Gradinger at turn one that knocked my clutch lever up. I managed to bash it back straight but the bolts came lose so I had no clutch lever. When I went to change down for the corner I couldn’t and ended up crashing so it was just bad luck. It couldn’t have happened at a worse place, this is a track I like plus I felt like I had the pace to battle for the lead but that’s the way things are.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “It was a great ride for Peter he overtook Badovini on the last straight so it’s a great end to the season for him. Our original aim was for him to score points which he’s done and now he’s made the top ten so we are looking forward to a great 2019 with him. For sure we are going to improve our bike and we will have a really good package for a successful season.”
“Kyle had a coming together with Gradinger, you can’t say it was anyone’s fault it was just one of those things. It was such a shame but Kyle rode well and he certainly had the pace to fight for the podium. Big congratulations to Peter Sebestyen and let’s look forward to putting everything together for the 2019 season. Everything has happened later for everyone this year we have to sort everything with the budget but we aim to be on the grid in 2019 and challenging at the front.”
1 L. Mahias
2 S. Cortese +2.000
3 F. Caricasulo +3.137
4 T. Gradinger +3.161
5 R. Krummenacher +6.236
6 C. Perolari +6.608
7 H. Barbera +6.709
8 R. De Rosa +7.705
9 H. Soomer +13.060
10 P. Sebestyen CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +23.199
RET K. Smith CIA Landlord Insurance Honda