After taking a clean sweep in the free practice sessions on Friday and Saturday morning, Locatelli turned up the wick even further in qualifying, setting a new lap record of 1’53.003 to score his fifth consecutive pole position.
The Italian briefly lost the lead into Turn 1 but regained the place on the drive out of the corner and maintained his advantage behind. After three laps, the 23-year-old stepped up the pace and pulled clear and by the end of the race had built a six second lead to claim another awe-inspiring victory at the Spanish venue.
GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Jules Cluzel had initially gone second fastest in the Superpole, but his best lap was run under yellow flags and so the Frenchman was demoted to fourth on the Race 1 grid. By the first corner, Cluzel was into third, which quickly became second as he overtook Kallio Racing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Isaac Vinales on lap two. At the halfway stage, he dropped back into third and remained there until the chequered flag.
GMT94 Yamaha teammate Corentin Perolari started from 12th on the grid and well amongst the tight midfield battle. The Frenchman fought inside the top 10 throughout the race, finishing in ninth.
Behind was bLU cRU Yamaha WorldSSP Team’s Galang Hendra Pratama, who enjoyed his best WorldSSP result so far. The Indonesian rookie had impressed earlier in the weekend and qualified just 0.047s outside of the top 15. In the race, the WorldSSP300 bLU cRU graduate made up several places at the start and ran a strong pace through, taking the chequered flag in 12th.
Fellow bLU cRU Yamaha WorldSSP rider Andy Verdoïa started the day by going 12th fastest in FP3, and qualified just 0.010s behind his teammate in 18th. The French rider was locked in a five-bike battle for 13th, eventually finishing 15th to collect the final point.
Kallio Racing’s Vinales was second fastest in qualifying and looked well-placed to challenge Locatelli in the early stages. However, a fall on lap three saw the Spaniard and his teammate Hannes Soomer, who had started seventh, retire from the race.
For full Tissot Superpole results, click here.
For full Race 1 results, click here.