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WorldSBK Aragon: Baldassarri wins dramatic WorldSSP debut

Lorenzo Baldassarri celebrated a dramatic victory on his debut in the WorldSSP Championship with a last corner save on his Evan Bros Yamaha.

It was an all-Yamaha battle in the closing stages as Ten Kate’s Dominique Aegerter claimed second having led across the final lap with Puccetti Kawasaki’s Can Öncü completing the podium celebrations.

The first Supersport grid of the year saw Baldassarri hold court having recently moved across from Moto2. Defending champion Aegerter sitting second with Öncü alongside on the front row.


Aegerter grabbed the holeshot at lights out with Baldassarri dropping to third, Althea’s Federico Caricasulo advancing to fourth on his Ducati debut while a strong start for Niki Tuuli promoted the MV Agusta to fifth. Öncü was in charge halfway round the opening lap with Tuuli likewise dispatching Caricasulo for position as the lap concluded.

The reigning champion struck back through turn one next time around as Jules Cluzel crashed out on the GMT94 Yamaha. EAB’s Glenn van Straalen was the next to arrive and stake his place on fourth, Tuuli dropping to seventh and into the clutches of Nicolo Bulega with Tom Booth-Amos and Adrian Huertas rounding out the top ten.

Bulega advanced to fifth on lap three as he pushed his Ducati past countryman Caricasulo. Öncü extending his lead out front with almost a second now between himself and the battling pair of Baldassarri and Aegerter as van Straalen looked to reel them in and put himself in podium contention.

The second group fight for sixth found Tuuli back on top as Caricasulo dropped to ninth, MTM’s Huertas and Triumph’s Stefano Manzi capitalising with Booth-Amos holding on for tenth as he steps up from the 300 class. Kyle Smith circulated in 19th with a third of the race dispatched and Ducati’s Oli Bayliss for company, Eugene McManus, replacement rider for Motozoo Puccetti’s Ben Currie further back in 25th.

Baldassarri struck for the front at the halfway stage, Aegerter making his own way past the Puccetti Kawasaki moments later as Öncü dropped from first to third. Van Straalen a safe two seconds behind. Six to go and the champion made his move to reassert his dominance once again.

The Yamaha battle continued as the race counted down. Aegerter answering his rookie competitor at every turn before looking to build a gap. Tuuli striking for fifth as he battle Bulega further down the field while a late flourish from Raffaele de Rosa saw the Italian on the edge of the points with threatening pace.

Two laps to go and Baldassarri was back in charge with Öncü running two seconds adrift of the leading pair. An all-Italian fight brewing between Caricasulo and Manzi for seventh as Booth-Amos dropped outside the top ten.

Aegerter returned to the lead for the final lap before a last sector strike gifted Baldassarri the victory on his first race in the Supersport World Championship. The pair colliding on the final corner for a dramatic end with the Italian managing to salvage the celebrations as Aegerter ran wide.

Öncü claimed the final podium position from van Straalen, Bulega and Tuuli. Manzi bettering Caricasulo for seventh as Huertas and |Patrick Hobelsberger completed the top ten. Soomer, Bahattin Sofuoglu, Booth-Amos, Peter Sebestyen and Andy Verdoia denying de Rosa for the final points.

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