Fight to the line: Gonzalez claims Race 2 victory by just 0.021s ahead of De Rosa

Sunday, 19 September 2021 11:29 GMT

There was nothing to separate the podium trio in an incredible Race 2 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

FIM Supersport World Championship action came to a thrilling conclusion at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the Hyundai N Catalunya Round as Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team) claimed an incredible victory by just 0.021s ahead of Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) in Race 2, while Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) ensured all three manufacturers were represented on the podium.


Turkish star Can Öncü (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was the big mover in the early stages of the 18-lap battle as he made moves on Randy Krummenacher (CM Racing) and Gonzalez to take the lead of the race after starting from tenth place. The move for the lead came at the start of Lap 4 as he passed Gonzalez on the brakes into the right-hander of Turn 1.

As Lap 6 started Krummenacher and Öncü got as close as they could which slowed the pair down int Turn 1, allowing Gonzalez to reclaim the lead of the race with Krummenacher passing Öncü as well. A lap later and De Rosa was through on Öncü as well as Krummenacher to move into second place. Öncü’s fight for the podium came to an end on Lap 8 at Turn 5 as the Turkish rider came off his bike, re-joining the race down in 29th place and then bringing his bike back to the pits.


Öncü’s incident allowed the lead group to fracture out a little bit but there were still four riders battling for the race win, with De Rosa able to get alongside Gonzalez lap after lap but Gonzalez able to defend the position on the brakes. On Lap 13, De Rosa made a move stick on Gonzalez at Turn 4 to take the lead of the race, with Krummenacher and Tulli still in the fight for the podium. Gonzalez lost time at the start of Lap 14 as he ran wide at Turn 1 and fell behind both Krummenacher and Tuuli but remained in the lead group although moved back in the podium places on the following lap with a move on Finnish rider Tuuli. Gonzalez recovered from running wide as he passed Krummenacher for second before setting his sights on De Rosa. On the last lap, Gonzalez made his move for the race win and despite the Italian’s best efforts he was unable to re-take the lead.

It meant Gonzalez claimed his second WorldSSP victory and his fifth podium in WorldSSP while De Rosa came home in second place behind Gonzalez, his second podium of the Catalunya Round; just 0.021s behind Gonzalez as they crossed the line. Tuuli claimed his first podium since Magny-Cours 2017 with third place after a Krummenacher save on the final lap; just 0.074s between the top three.


Marcel Brenner (VFT Racing) secured his best result of the season with fifth place as he brought home a big points haul for VFT Racing, with Federico Caricasulo (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) completing the top six as the Italian rider finishing just a second behind Swiss rider Brenner.

Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) was seventh on a weekend where he had a chance to close the gap to Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) in the Championship standings. With Aegerter not competing in Barcelona, Odendaal had the opportunity to close the Championship gap from 62 points but only managed to take 17 points out of Aegerter’s lead, with the gap now 45 points. Odendaal was ahead of Phillip Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in eighth place. Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing) equalled his WorldSSP best result with ninth place, ahead of Patrick Hobelsberger (Bonovo MGM Action) who rounded out the top ten.


Estonian rider Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing) claimed 11th place as his comeback from injury continued to gather pace, finishing three tenths clear of Matteo Patacca (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) in 12th place. Leonardo Taccini (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) finished in a strong 13th place, ahead of Simon Jespersen (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha); Jespersen crossed the line in 13th place but was demoted one place for a track limits infringement on the final lap. Peter Sebestyen (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) claimed the final points finish with 15th place, just 0.033s behind Jespersen.

Federico Fuligni (VFT Racing) just missed out on points by half a second behind Sebestyen, while One Event rider Daniel Valle (Yamaha MS Racing) headed the trio of Yamaha MS Racing riders between 17th and 19th; Valle in 17th with Unai Orradre in 18th and Marc Alcoba in 19th. Vertti Takala (Kallio Racing) rounded out the top 20.


Andy Verdoïa (GMT94 Yamaha) was declared unfit after a Race 1 incident with Eduardo Montero Huerta (DK Motorsport), where both were taken to the medical centre. Verdoïa was diagnosed with a right ankle sprain and contusions to his right ankle and knee, while Montero Huerta was diagnosed with a lumbar contusion, although was able to take part in Race 2 after being reassessed on Sunday morning, although he brought his bike into the pits at around the halfway distance to retire from the race. WorldSSP Challenge rider Kevin Manfredi (Altogo Racing Team) did not take the start of the race. Luigi Montella (Chiodo Moto Racing) brought his bike back to the pits after a technical issue at the end of Lap 2, while fellow WorldSSP Challenge competitor Stephane Frossard (Moto Team Jura Vitesse) suffered a technical issue on the fifth lap at Turn 4. Christoffer Bergman (Wojcik Racing Team) brought his bike back to the pits after a crash in the early stages of the race as the Swedish rider retired from the race. Debutant Bill van Eerde (IXS-YART Yamaha) was also a retirement from the race as he brought his bike back to the pits after a technical issue.

With just a few laps to go, Ludovic Cauchi (GMT94 Yamaha) and Loic Arbel (Andotrans Team Torrento) had a collision at Turn 10, forcing both riders out of the race. Both Arbel and Cauchi were taken to the medical centre following the crash for a check-up, with Cauchi diagnosed with a left wrist contusion.

The top six in WorldSSP Race 2, full results here:

1 Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team)

2. Raffaele De Rosa (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) +0.021s

3. Niki Tuuli (MV Agusta Corse Clienti) +0.095s

4. Randy Krummenacher (CM Racing) +0.568s

5. Marcel Brenner (VFT Racing) +6.159s

6. Federico Caricasulo (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing) +7.137s

Fastest Lap: Can Öncü (Kawasaki) 1’45.486s New Lap Record

Best WorldSSP Challenge rider: Federico Caricasulo (Biblion Iberica Yamaha Motoxracing)

Championship standings:

1 Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) 302

2. Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) 257

3. Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha ParkinGo Team) 203

4. Philipp Oettl (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) 197

5. Luca Bernardi (CM Racing) 161

6. Jules Cluzel (GMT94 Yamaha) 140

Watch the WorldSSP title battle unfold using the WorldSBK VideoPass!