Italian rookie Locatelli claimed a commanding WorldSSP debut victory as he started his 2020 campaign in the perfect style
Debut weekends don’t get much better than that of Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan. Bros WorldSSP Team) in the FIM Supersport World Championship season-opener. The 23-year-old took pole position and dominated the race, winning by six seconds. He had two WorldSSP Champions alongside him on the grid in Randy Krummenacher (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing); Locatelli dealing with the pressure with ease.
The only time Locatelli looked under threat was heading into Turn 1 on Lap 1, where Mahias got the better of him. Mahias’ lead lasted just one corner as Locatelli fought back instantly. The former Moto2™ rider had set the pace in the Phillip Island Official Test in the week leading up to the race and continued his strong, impressive form into the race weekend. The overall lap record for Phillip Island now belongs to Locatelli following the Tissot Superpole; his lap two tenths clear of reigning champion Krummenacher.
Discussing his impressive debut weekend, Locatelli said: “We are stronger and faster every time. This is the best for me, this is the first race of the season, but the championship is long. The feeling was incredible. The weekend is so good because we make the best lap in qualifying. We set the new overall lap record, we set the fastest lap in the race, we won the race. Everything we did but we need to stay calm and see for the next few races.”
It was a scintillating performance from the young Italian rider who will take great confidence from this heading into the next few races. Having translated promising testing pace into incredible Superpole and race pace, the eyes of the chasing pack will be focusing on Locatelli following his dominant WorldSSP debut.
You can follow the WorldSSP 2020 season using the WorldSBK VideoPass!