Dominique Aegerter battled his way to victory in the opening World Supersport race of the weekend, passing Raffaele De Rosa on the final lap to secure 25 vital championship points.
After breaking the lap record twice on the way to pole position on Saturday morning, Aegerter made a strong start, leading the pack into turn one before being shuffled back to second at turn two. From there, the Swiss rider relinquished a further place before then coming under further attack from Stefano Manzi.
With seven laps completed, Aegerter began his charge as he first sliced his way past Manzi before attempting to close the gap to the leading duo ahead. Setting an all-time lap record, the 32-year-old eventually caught Federico Caricasulo but couldn’t find a way by the Italian. A mistake for the rider ahead promoted Aegerter to second before a penultimate lap charge saw him gain half a second, setting up a final lap pass for the win at turn eight, snatching victory to extend his series lead to 63 points.
Four times victor in Argentina Jules Cluzel enjoyed a strong comeback throughout the opening race of the weekend. The French rider made a strong start from sixth on the grid. He worked his way up to fifth at the end of lap one, but a mistake at the midway stage saw him slip back to tenth. Using his experience, the GMT94 Yamaha man pushed on, working his way back up to sixth at the chequered flag.
Title contender Lorenzo Baldassarri endured a challenging opening race of the Argentinian round. Starting fourth, the Evan Bros.WorldSSP rider found himself beaten up in the opening corners and crossed the line in eighth. From there, the former Moto2 rider started to work his way through the pack, passing Nicolo Bulega, Stefano Manzi and Niki Tuuli. Running fourth, a mistake at turn 15 saw him slip back to ninth which is where he ultimately finished as he could not make further progress in the final two laps.
Peter Sebestyen secured a solid 12th place with Bradley Smith picking up two points for 14th in his World Supersport debut. Ondrej Vostatek just missed out on points in 16th.
Glenn van Straalen was unfortunate to be involved in an opening lap incident while Marcel Brenner and Andy Verdoia retired from the race.
The FIM Supersport World Championship continues on Sunday for the final race of the weekend with the action kicking off at 13:30 local time.