Moto2 exile Sandro Cortese has won the WorldSSP championship at the first time of asking after a thriller in Qatar which saw outgoing king Lucas Mahias win the race and title challenger Jules Cluzel crash out on the last lap.
In a race that was delayed after torrential rain, German Cortese, Frenchman Cluzel and countryman Mahias scrapped it out for the win on a track that had standing water in three places. Mahias grabbed the lead with three left, leaving the title protagonists to fight it out.
After some paint swapping, late brakes and plenty of running wide, Cluzel’s front Pirelli finally gave in and Cortese became the first rookie since Cal Crutchlow in 2009 to take the big Supersport trophy.
Even second place would not have been enough to win the trophy anyway as Cluzel needed a five point score over Cortese. In the points, Mahias eventually scored second place overall, with Cluzel no scoring.
Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) finished third today, with Cluzel’s team-mate Thomas Gradinger, from Austria, going fourth.
Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha) was fifth, and early podium runner in a short 12-lap race, Corentin Perolari (Yamaha GMT94) was sixth.
Hector Barbera (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) got his wish of his best finish of the season in seventh, ahead of Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag).
Hannes Soomer (Racedays Honda) secured ninth and another Honda rider, Peter Sebestyen (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) was tenth.
Only 16 riders finished.