WSSP Malaysia: Van den Mark and Cluzel, again !
The first World Superbike event in Sepang started this morning with the Supersport race. As in Donington Park two weeks ago, Van den Mark and Cluzel fought to the end for the victory. And the duel again turned to the advantage of the Honda rider ! Supersport Race Jules Cluzel got off to a good start from his second pole…
The first World Superbike event in Sepang started this morning with the Supersport race. As in Donington Park two weeks ago, Van den Mark and Cluzel fought to the end for the victory. And the duel again turned to the advantage of the Honda rider !
Jules Cluzel got off to a good start from his second pole position this year but Kenan Sofuoglu made a better start from his 6th place and took the lead at the entrance to the big chicane. They are followed by Lorenzo Zanetti, Roberto Rolfo, Michael van den Mark, Patrick Jacobsen, Zaqhwan Zaidi (wildcard), Roberto Tamburini, Ratthapark Wilairot, Kev Coghlan, Jack Kennedy, Florian Marino, etc..
The leading men did not leave each other in the first round. Cluzel pretends to shift by attacking the last corner but cannot get the triple Turkish champion. Behind, Van den Mark jumps on Rolfo’s fourth place then on Zanetti’s third place at the start of the 2nd round.
Florian Marino retrograde to 14th place in the same second loop. Jules Cluzel him, remains in the wheel of the leader but does not launch any attack. Michael VDM remains in the asp of F3 n ° 16 while Rolfo and Zanetti provide a nice show !
The American Jacobsen is calmer and tries to keep up with the pace of the leading group, leading a still dense peloton made up of Coghlan, Wilairot, De Rosa, Zaidi, Tamburini, Kennedy and Marino, our second representative in the Superport category..
Rolfo took advantage of a gap from Van den Mark in the last corner of the 4th lap to hoist his ZX-6R n ° 44 on the podium. Moments later, Coghlan fell and had to abandon the race … of Malaysia, but not yet that of the 2014 world title, as there were still seven races to go. !
Sofuoglu is stuck in first place but somewhat clogs the four men behind him. Among Cluzel, Van den Mark, Rolfo and Zanetti, moreover, Roberto is undoubtedly the most dissipated. When Michael overtakes Jules in the 7th round, the Italian immediately imitates him.
Sofuoglu widened slightly on the first braking of the 8th lap and handed over the reins of the race to the young leader of the championship, Michael van den Mark. Kenan lost two more places to Jules and Roberto who were then a small second behind the Honda n ° 60.
The second group, located seven seconds from the leader, is even more agitated: Wilairot and Marino in particular delight the – rare – audience of endless slips on braking! However, it is De Rosa and Tamburini who dominate the debates and fight for sixth place..
In front, Van den Mark maintained his lead of three quarters of a second on Cluzel while there were four laps to go. Suddenly Kennedy loses the front and hits the rear of Tamburini! The unfortunate duelists are joined in the gravel by Marino and his Ninja n ° 21.
Three laps from the checkered flag, Cluzel manages to hoist his MV Agusta into the Honda aspiration but seems unable to tackle the Dutchman. Rolfo and Sofuoglu fight three seconds later for third place.
The penultimate lap does not offer our Coq Supersportif more opportunity than the previous one. However, the Frenchman did not give up on the last lap and finally launched a braking attack on turn 9! Jules stands up to the Honda rider until the last pin, which he negotiates with a very defensive and tense trajectory … then too wide !
Michael van den Mark dives to the rope and comes out in front of this last bend while Jules Cluzel puts on the gas earlier – but from further away! The two men cross the finish line side by side … The Honda rider is finally declared the winner, by 18 thousandths of a second !
Kenan Sofuoglu climbs on the podium just ahead of Roberto Rolfo, while Lorenzo Zanetti completes the Top 5 alone. Local rider Zaqhwan Zaidi (No. 20 Honda of the Sepang International Circuit Racing Team) enters the World Top 10 for his first participation. Tahniah !
With his second consecutive victory, Michael van den Mark increased his lead in the championship by five points over his runner-up Jules Cluzel (115 points to 82). Florian Marino did not register any points for Sepang and saw Lorenzo Zanetti come up on him. Kenan Sofuoglu has 54 points and shares sixth place with De Rosa.
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