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Bergman and Bernardi: the WorldSSP underdogs fighting at the front at Aragon

Tuesday, 25 May 2021 11:16 GMT

The Swede and the Sammarinese riders both showed strong pace throughout the season-opening weekend

History was made across the opening round of the 2021 FIM Superpsort World Championship season at MotorLand Aragon when Christoffer Bergman (Wojcik Racing Team WorldSBK) became the first Swedish rider to lead a race while Luca Bernardi (CM Racing) secured San Marino’s best ever result in WorldSSP as the season kicked off with the Pirelli Aragon Round.

Bergman’s moment of history came in Race 2 when he took the lead of the race after passing Jeremy Alcoba (Yamaha MS Racing) on the opening lap, taking advantage of a penalty for Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) while two of the favourites in Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Federico Caricasulo (GMT94 Yamaha) both crashed at Turn 2, in separate incidents.

While Bergman was unable to hold on to secure a win or podium, he made history by being the first Swedish rider to lead a race in WorldSSP after he led from the middle of Lap 1 to Lap 10 of the 15-lap race, showing strong potential on his return to the class after sitting out most of the 2020 campaign.

Looking back on the weekend, Bergman said: “It was pretty much a perfect weekend for us. The whole team did a great job and we were able to get good results in all of the sessions, including both races. The conditions during the second race were really tricky but going for the wet tyres was an easy decision as we didn’t want to risk right at the start of the season. I was quite surprised to take the lead on the opening lap and build a solid advantage as I wasn’t really pushing that much.

“In the end I tried to stay with my rivals on the last few laps, but the wet front tyre had enough on a drying track, so I didn’t want to take any risk. This result is still a real confidence boost though. Hopefully this year we’ll be able to fight for top five finishes and podiums sooner than we’ve expected before this weekend. I’m looking forward to Estoril and done a lot of laps there last year. It should be a really fun track to ride on the R6”.

Bernardi’s best result of the weekend came in Race 1 when he claimed a stunning fourth place for CM Racing in his first race in WorldSSP. The Sammarinese rider was running in the top five in Race 2 before a technical problem forced him to bring his bike back to the pits and retire from the race but Bernardi showed he could fight at the front with strong performances in both races.

Reflecting on Saturday’s result, Bernardi said: “I didn't get off to a good start, and that's why I struggled in the first few laps. On the other hand, as the race went on, I felt really comfortable on the saddle, a sign that together with the team we found a really good set up, so I was able to set some fast laps and reach fourth position. I'm really happy and satisfied with this result, first of all because it was the first race in WorldSSP both for me and for the team, which I really have to thank for the great work done both yesterday and today.”

He added on Sunday: “The weekend was quite positive, for many reasons. Today I felt fast in the wet, but a technical problem forced me to return to the pits earlier than expected. In general, I'm really convinced that me and the team have the right potential to get good results, and we will try to prove it again in Estoril. It will be a completely new track for me, but the challenge doesn't scare me. I would like to thank the CM Racing Team for the great work done over the three days: we are a great group with great ambitions".

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