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Portimao WorldSBK: Caricasulo beats Smith in astounding WorldSSP clash

It looked like Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) had secured his first race win since the opening weekend of the season over his team-mate Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) but after the Frenchman suffered a rear tyre deflation with just one lap to go, he as forced to stop at the side of the track. Heartbreak for the long time leader, it seemed.

Shortly after that, Rob Hartog ran into wildcard rider Borja Quero Martinez and both fell off at Turn 11, causing Hartog to be eventually excluded from the results and the race to be red flagged at a crucial time.

In a bizarre twist that now meant that Mahias had five minutes to get back to pitlane to be classified as the winner, he got back on his bike to ride back to the pits at slow speed on a fully flat tyre. Despite falling off more than once, he got back to pitlane and was soon swamped by his team and supporters as he was classified the winner – for a time.


Unfortunately, he had taken six minutes - not the regulation five - to get back into pitlane, and he had also entered pitlane from an auxiliary entrance, not the regular one, all of which meant he was not classified as a finisher, and there fore scored no points never mind the race win.

After this bizarre final outcome, Caricasulo was awarded the race win,

Kyle Smith (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) secured a season best in second, and the cosmopolitan podium included an MV, as Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) was third.

It was a race of drama from the beginning. Jules Cluzel (NRT Yamaha) was taken out by a rash challenge and then fall from championship leader Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing Yamaha), who remounted. His French rival could not.

Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha) placed fourth and, fighting his way back from his own crash on lap one, Cortese was fifth. The end result for the points table is that Cortese still leads, with 149, Cluzel has 133. Caricasulo and Krummenacher are tied on 129.

Behind the chaos of the final top five today, Hannes Soomer (Racedays Honda) was sixth, Ayrton Badovini (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) seventh and Thomas Gradinger (NRT Yamaha) eighth, with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing pairing Hikari Okubo and Hector Barbera ninth and tenth respectively.

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