Evan Bros.WorldSSP Yamaha Team’s Lorenzo Baldassarri secured a strong fourth place in the opening WorldSSP race of the weekend, braving the treacherous conditions at the Phillip Island circuit.
Following blue skies for Friday practice, early morning rainfall left the circuit far from optimal for Saturday morning’s Superpole session, with the circuit left drying throughout the 20-minute shootout.
Opting for the intermediate rear tyre, Aegerter proved untouchable in the opening 15-minutes, powering himself over four seconds clear atop of the standings. As conditions continued to improve and numerous riders pitting for the slick or intermediate tyres, the Swiss’ 1:37.381 would ultimately see the double WorldSSP Champion line up in the middle of row two following a flurry of late Superpole laps.
After the dry end to Superpole, the heavens opened again in the build-up to the opening race of the weekend, leaving a treacherous circuit for the riders to battle on.
A safe and steady start from row two for Aegerter saw him hold fifth place at the end of the opening lap before briefly falling behind Baldassarri on the second tour.
Back ahead of the Italian, the Ten Kate Racing rider picked up a position on Nicolo Bulega and was quickly followed through by his fellow Yamaha rider at the final corner. Despite getting ahead, it wasn’t long till the pair dropped back behind the Ducati, and with six laps to go, Baldassarri made his move for fifth as he passed Aegerter at turn one.
From there, the former Moto2 rider pushed on, opening a safe 2.4-second gap ahead of the final lap. An incident for a rider in the leading group then promoted the number 7 and number 77 Yamahas to fourth and fifth places, where they ultimately finished the opening 19-lap race of the weekend.
After a tough start to the weekend, Simon Jespersen splashed his way inside the top ten as he picked up ninth place, while Glenn van Straalen crossed the line in 11th position.
After running wide and onto the sodden grass at turn one on the opening lap, Peter Sebestyen put in a valiant effort to finish 13th, while Andy Verdoia, the sole remaining GMT94 Yamaha after a last lap tumble for Jules Cluzel, and Leonardo Taccini finished in 16th and 17th respectively.
Jules Cluzel, Marcel Brenner, Ondrej Vostatek and Unai Orradre were all retirements from race one.
The FIM Supersport World Championship concludes on Sunday with race two taking place at 14:30 local time, following the warm-up session at 10:55.