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Odendaal Strikes Back in WorldSSP Title Battle with Victory in Red Flagged Most Race 1

Odendaal Strikes Back in WorldSSP Title Battle with Victory in Red Flagged Most Race 1

Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Steven Odendaal ended title rival Dominque Aegerter’s winning streak after taking victory in the red flagged first FIM Supersport World Championship race at Autodrom Most, with ParkinGO Yamaha’s Manuel Gonzalez scoring a maiden podium in second.

After a disappointing qualifying saw Odendaal start Race 1 at Most seventh, the South African was quickly into the lead battle on the opening few laps. By the end of lap four, the Evan Bros Yamaha rider had hit the front, and despite increasing pressure from behind, Odendaal was able to hold on until the red flag came out for an earlier incident to take his fourth win of the 2021 campaign.

Looking to bounce back after a difficult Assen weekend, Gonzalez was quickest of all in qualifying and became WorldSSP’s youngest-ever pole-sitter after edging out Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Aegerter. The 19-year-old was shuffled down to fourth on the opening lap, but made his way back into the podium places on lap four. With two-thirds distance completed, the Spanish youngster had moved into second and started chasing down Odendaal before the red flag ended his charge. 

From fourth on the grid, Aegerter dropped to seventh after the opening stages but gradually made his way back into podium contention. Running in fourth, the championship leader was closing the gap to third before the red flag, seeing him just miss out on a seventh podium of the season. 

A difficult qualifying saw Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Federico Caricasulo start Race 1 from 12th on the grid, but the Italian was able to keep up a strong pace and climbed to fifth by the finish, just ahead of fellow countryman and bLU cRU graduate Luca Bernardi. 

GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Jules Cluzel was in the lead battle early on, but dropped back to finish seventh, albeit less than half-a-second away from a top-five result. Evan Bros Yamaha’s Peter Sebestyen scored his best finish since joining the team in 10th, with Ten Kate Yamaha’s Galang Hendra Pratama scoring points in 14th from 23rd on the grid.

Kallio Racing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Vertti Takala narrowly missed out on points in 16th, with GMT94 Yamaha’s wildcard entry Patrick Hobelsberger finishing 19th after suffering arm pump, while teammate Valentin Debise failed to convert his promising sixth-place result in qualifying after falling at Turn 15 on the opening lap.

For full Superpole results, click here.
For full Race 1 results, click here.

Steven Odendaal: P1

Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team

To be honest I’m very happy for this victory, we’ve been going through a rough time these last couple of races, just really unlucky at some places. Unfortunately, this win was under a red flag, so it doesn’t feel like a full victory, but I felt I had more to give in the end there. I haven’t thought about the championship yet, I just want to focus race-by-race and not let the title battle get into my head. I just need to get through the first corner again tomorrow, because starting from seventh isn’t easy here. Obviously, my goal is to repeat today’s result.

Manuel Gonzalez: P2

ParkinGO Yamaha

It was almost a perfect day for me. The race was going really well for me, the SC0 tyre wasn’t the easiest to manage at the start so I fell back a little bit in the first laps. The feeling improved though and I managed to set some fast lap times. I felt calm and knew I had to push to overtake Odendaal, but then the red flag came out. Some races are like this though and tomorrow I hope to take the win that I really want. The Yamaha R6 felt great and in Race 2 my goal is to try to get a better start to be in the lead battle earlier.