De Rosa: "It was a difficult race… I stayed focused on not making a mistake and trying to win!"

Saturday, 20 November 2021 09:42 GMT

A win seven seasons in the making: after ten years in WorldSSP, Raffaele De Rosa claimed his first victory in Race 1 in Indonesia

The FIM Supersport World Championship kicked off World Championship racing action at the Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit with 19 thrilling laps of Race 1 action as Italian rider Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) claimed his first WorldSSP victory. The Italian withstood pressure from the 2021 Champion and some early-race rain to claim his first victory at the 89th attempt of asking.

De Rosa had looked strong in the Tissot Superpole session and lined up from fourth on the grid, giving him a good starting spot for the 19-lap encounter. He was able to fight with the lead group throughout the race before he made a break at around half-distance at the head of the field, maintaining a gap of just under a second to the chasing Federico Caricasulo (VFT Racing).

As the race reached a thrilling conclusion, Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) was the rider on a move as he gained almost two seconds on De Rosa between Lap 16 and Lap 18, with the pair just 0.182s apart at the start of the 19th and final tour. With the pace advantage shown by Aegerter over the previous couple of laps, it looked like the 2021 Champion would take a last-lap victory but De Rosa held on for his first victory in WorldSSP, and in doing so became the first Italian rider to win on a Kawasaki in the Championship.

Reacting to his first WorldSSP victory, De Rosa said: “After many, many races… I did it! It was a very strange and difficult race because the weather conditions changed many times. My pace was good in the wet and dry conditions. I am happy about this. I stayed concentrating on my ride in order to go as clean as possible. I concentrated on my pace. I checked the gap with Dominique but, in the end, I stayed focused on not making a mistake and trying to win.”

WorldSSP returns on track at 09:25 Local Time (GMT+8) with Warm-Up before Race 2 at 13:30 – watch it all using the WorldSBK VideoPass!