Having qualified fourth, Odendaal retained his position at the start, battling amongst the top five for much of the 15-lap race. On the ninth lap, an incident ahead involving GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Jules Cluzel and MV Augusta’s Niki Tuuli saw the South African promoted to third.
On lap 13, Odendaal moved up to second, with a late braking move into Turn 1, and was now chasing Aegerter’s Yamaha R6 for the lead in the closing stages. After swapping positions throughout the final two laps, the 28-year-old made his move heading into the final corner of the last lap to take his first-ever WorldSSP win.
Swiss rider Aegerter had qualified fifth in his debut WorldSSP Superpole and made a superb start to move into the top three early on. The former Moto2 racer initially fell back to fourth, but was promoted to second courtesy of the incident ahead. On the final corner of lap 12, he hit the front and defended valiantly from Odendaal, but could not hold on, eventually finishing just 0.099 seconds behind.
ParkinGO Yamaha’s Manuel Gonzalez qualified in 11th, but made steady progress throughout the race. In the closing stages the Spanish youngster was sitting in sixth place, and on the final lap he made yet another place to cross the line in fifth.
That move was on GMT94 Yamaha’s Federico Caricasulo, who had been running in fifth for much of the second half of the race after qualifying in sixth. The Italian pushed to fight back after Gonzalez had overtaken him, but finished 0.079 seconds behind in sixth.
Kallio Racing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Hannes Soomer started the race in seventh, and although the Estonian initially dropped back, he found himself back in seventh by the end of the race.
Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300 Supported Team’s Maria Herrera made good progress into the points from 18th on the grid, climbing to 12th at the finish, with Ten Kate Yamaha’s Galang Hendra Pratama rounding out the top 15, having made up nine places from his 24th-place grid spot.
GMT94 Yamaha’s Cluzel led for most of the race from pole position, until lap nine when he was collected by Tuuli heading into Turn 12. The French rider fell heavily, but thankfully came out of the incident without injury.
Kallio Racing Yamaha’s Vertti Takala, making his debut in WorldSSP this weekend, had qualified in 20th, but fell on the opening lap at Turn 5 and could not continue.
For WorldSSP Race 1 results, click here.