A red flag caused by a first lap crash saw the race shortened from 19 laps to 12, and it was Aegerter who got the best launch from second on the grid on the restart. The Swiss rider then built a gap of around 1.6s over the next few laps, while the others battled to be best of the rest behind. Aegerter crossed the line for fourth consecutive win and extended his lead in the riders’ championship to over 50 points.
The fight for second was hard fraught between Odendaal, Cluzel, ParkinGO Yamaha’s Manuel Gonzalez and bLU cRU graduate Luca Bernardi throughout the 12-lap “sprint”.
Starting from 13th on the grid after a disappointing qualifying, Odendaal was tenacious in his battle back into the podium places. The South African was up to third on lap seven, before making his move into second with just two laps remaining, which is where he went on to finish.
For Cluzel’s home race, a strong start from sixth on the grid brought him into the podium places, securing second on lap six. The GMT94 Yamaha rider showed strong pace but couldn’t hold onto the position from Odendaal, eventually finishing third to take his first podium since Misano.
Gonzalez stormed from fifth to second in the first corner, but found himself shuffled down to fifth over the next few laps. The 19-year-old fought back into podium contention, just missing out by 0.168s in fourth.
CM Racing Team’s Bernardi started the day off with an outstanding maiden WorldSSP pole position, but was unable to capitalise as he dropped to fifth on the opening lap. The 20-year-old San Marino rider posted a series of fast laps and was running second by lap five, but was unable to match his early pace and took the chequered flag in fifth.
Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Federico Caricasulo climbed from eighth to finish sixth, with his strong pace in the latter stages a positive sign for the longer race on Sunday.
On his return to the championship, GMT94 Yamaha’s Andy Verdoia was an impressive 10th overall, marking the bLU cRU rider’s second-best result after his unforgettable Barcelona victory in 2020.
Making his step up to the WorldSSP class with the Yamaha MS Racing team, bLU cRU’s Unai Orradre enjoyed a superb debut race, scoring two world championship points in 14th. Kallio Racing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Hannes Soomer rounded out the top 15 on his first race back since sustaining an injury at Assen.
Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha’s Maria Herrera was 21st, while Kallio Racing Yamaha’s Vertti Takala, Ten Kate Yamaha’s Galang Hendra Pratama and Evan Bros Yamaha’s Peter Sebestyen all recorded DNFs.
For GMT94 Yamaha’s Valentin Debise, having qualified a promising fourth, he had an issue on the grid and was hit from behind. The French rider is currently in hospital having reported pain in his wrist.
For Race 1 results, click here.