After recording pole position on Saturday morning, the Italian made a strong start, taking the holeshot and avoided the turn one collision behind him, which involved championship leader Dominique Aegerter. After breaking the lap record on Friday, Aegerter’s race came to an early end after being struck by another rider at the first corner. The Swiss rider was assessed by circuit medics and has been ruled out of Sunday’s action with concussion. GMT94’s Andy Verdoia was also involved in the opening lap clash and retired from the race.
Meanwhile, Baldassarri looked comfortable at the head of the field, breaking the lap record by over four tenths of a second as he stretched his lead to over four seconds. The 25-year-old eventually crossed the line take his first win since the season opener at Aragon reducing the gap at the front to 39 points.
Whilst Baldassarri controlled the 19-lap race, the battle for the final podium places was electric, as Glenn van Straalen and replacement riders Steven Odendaal and Valentin Debise braved the six-rider fight.
Trading position right up until the final lap, Debise, Odendaal and van Straalen held third, fourth and fifth places as the fight for the runner up position went down to the wire. With less than half a second covering the three Yamahas, Debise made his move into turn one, briefly passing Manzi before the Italian retaliated at turn two, seeing Frenchman Debise slip back to fourth.
Attention turned to Odendaal, who, like Debise, had the better of Manzi in the middle sector. Running wide as he manoeuvred his Yamaha R6 through, Manzi re-took the place, seeing the battle go to the finish line.
Holding on to third, the South African secured third place in his WorldSSP return, beating counterpart Debise who finished fourth in his come back to the class.
Glenn van Straalen ultimately slipped to fifth at the finish line, whilst home rider Ondrej Vostatek secured 11th.
Peter Sebestyen put in a strong performance in the cool conditions to secure two points, with Leonardo Taccini missing out in 16th.
MS Racing Yamaha’s Unai Orradre made a strong start to the Most encounter. Running just outside of the points at the mid-way stage, the Spanish youngster dropped to 18th in the latter stages of the race.
Lorenzo Baldassarri’s race victory sees Dominique Aegerter’s championship lead reduced to 39 points going into the second encounter on Sunday.
WorldSSP action kicks off on Sunday morning with the morning warm up before lights go out for the second race of the weekend at 12:30.