After qualifying on pole position, his third of the season, Aegerter dropped back to fifth after struggling to get off the line. The Swiss rider remained in the lead battle, which covered the top seven riders for most of the 20-lap race, and by lap six was back into the podium positions.
The Ten Kate Yamaha rider then battled with Odendaal for the lead, eventually passing him on lap 12. Aegerter got his head down and consistently extended his advantage, crossing the line to win by 4.425s.
Championship rival Odendaal started Saturday’s race from third on the grid, but was able to take the lead as they filed through Turn 1. The South African battled with ParkinGO Yamaha’s Manuel Gonzalez in the early stages, before Aegerter caught up to the pair of them. Despite a valiant defence, Odendaal conceded the position on lap 12, and then had to hold off the fast-charging Luca Bernardi, keeping the Italian at bay to cross the line in second.
bLU cRU graduate Bernardi had qualified fifth and was in the lead battle throughout, with the CM Racing rider piling the pressure on Odendaal during the final stages of the race. In the end, the 19-year-old was unable to make a move and finished third, his fourth podium of his rookie campaign.
GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Jules Cluzel was also in the front fight, having started from fourth on the grid. The French rider battled with Bernardi and Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Federico Caricasulo, holding off the former to take fourth.
Italian rider Caricasulo finished just over half-a-second behind Cluzel in fifth, with a comfortable gap to EAB Racing’s Randy Krummenacher, who ensured it was an all-Yamaha top six.
Kallio Racing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Simon Jespersen, filling in for Hannes Soomer this weekend, made an impressive debut – fighting in the lead group before eventually finishing in ninth.
Ten Kate Yamaha’s Galang Hendra Pratama enjoyed a strong ride from 16th to finish 11th, with Kallio Racing Yamaha’s Vertti Takala also taking points in 14th. GMT94 Yamaha’s wildcard entry Dani Valle was 18th, just ahead of Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha’s Maria Herrera, who was 19th on her return from injury.
In-form 19-year-old Gonzalez had been fighting for the lead from second on the grid in the first half of the race, but fell at Turn 9 on lap 11, seeing him injure his shoulder. Evan Bros Yamaha’s Peter Sebestyen also fell at the same corner, but suffered no injuries.
For Race 1 results, click here.