Dominique Aegerter secured 25 points after taking victory in race one, despite being beaten to the flag by fellow Yamaha rider Lorenzo Baldassarri who exceeded track limits during the final lap and was demoted to second place.
Saturday’s action kicked off under sunny blue skies on the Adriatic coast, but it was Aegerter who laid the early warning, setting a blistering 1’37.173 – a new lap record on his way to a third Superpole of the season.
From pole position, the 31-year-old defending champion made a strong start, holding second to Nicoló Bulega on the run through the opening corners, with Evan Bros.WorldSSP Yamaha Team's Baldassarri close behind in third on his R6. The Ducati rider pulled a small gap, but the Ten Kate Racing rider used all his experience to shadow his rival, biding his time before launching an attack in the closing stages of the 18 lap race.
Reducing the gap to less than half a second, Aegerter was in contention for the lead in the closing stages, as Baldassarri joined to create three-rider battle to the flag. Making his move going into turn one on the penultimate lap, Aegerter took the lead and was swiftly followed through by Baldassarri who had bridged a 1.5-second gap at the midway stage.
With the Yamahas out front, Baldassarri was determined to give the Italian crowd a home victor, as he squeezed through on Aegerter at turn two on the final lap, leaving the Swiss rider with no answer. The pair traded places and after holding on through the final two corners, Baldassarri crossed the line to take a slim victory over his Yamaha counterpart, but was later penalised one position for exceeding track limits at the penultimate corner. The result gave Aegerter his sixth consecutive win of the season and extends his points advantage to 49 points over Baldassarri.
Further back, Jules Cluzel enjoyed a fight back through the field after slipping to 11th from his eighth-place grid slot. The French rider was locked in a four-rider battle which included VFT Racing Yamaha’s, Marcel Brenner. Cluzel eventually crossed the line in seventh with Brenner in ninth.
Peter Sebestyen rode a strong race to lead Andy Verdoia home in 12th and 13th places respectfully, while Leonardo Taccini secured further points for 14th place.
MS Racing Yamaha’s Unai Orradre’s hard work was unravelled following a late retirement. The Spanish youngster was running in 11th place before slipping back to 13th, but his race ended with four laps remaining.
Sunday’s action kicks off with morning Warm Up before race two commences at 12:45 local time.