Double delight for Yamaha with team podium at Imola
Yakhnich Yamaha Motosport riders Sam Lowes and Vladimir Leonov produced a double podium in yesterday’s drama filled World Supersport race in Imola.
Round seven of the World Supersport Championship kicked off on Saturday with Lowes scoring his fifth consecutive pole position of the season, the British rider again putting his Yamaha YZF-R6 at the front of the field with a lap record under his belt. This time he was to be joined on the front row by teammate Leonov, scoring a career best qualifying to take third on the grid for the race.
Yesterday’s race was nearly a disaster for Championship leader Lowes, the R6 rider making an incredible come back following a red flag incident six laps in. At the time Lowes had been in second, chasing down rival Kenan Sofuoglu however the re-start would see him slip first to sixth and then even further to tenth following a brief off-track excursion. While Lowes was languishing down the field his teammate Leonov was near the front and hotly pursuing Sofuoglu. What came next was a stunning fight back as Lowes recovered from tenth to third over the fourteen laps and then, at the last minute, pass his teammate on the last corner of the race to secure second.
The impressive effort limited Sofuoglu’s attack on Lowes’ Championship lead, the Yamaha rider remaining at the top of the standings with 140 whilst Sofuoglu follows on 106.
Sam Lowes, 2nd
“Early in the race I felt the clutch slipping and as I was trying to catch Fabien Foret I missed a turn and went wide onto the grass. I lost a few places and it was pretty tough to catch my rivals but I managed it and fought to get second position. I’m very happy; it was a great day for all the team and for Yamaha. Vladimir was also great!”
Vladimir Leonov, 3rd
“Before the race I was feeling comfortable as we had made the bike set up very competitive and the final morning practice had confirmed it. When the race re-started I saw Luca Scassa in front and realised I could catch him and leave him behind so I went for it. Thanks to my team and Yamaha for my bike, the tyres were also perfect and I had a really good pace. I had hoped to be in second position but unfortunately I made a small mistake in one corner.”
Supersport race finishing order at Imola:
1. Kenan Sofuoglu TUR Mahi India Kawasaki ZX-6R 14 laps
2. Sam Lowes GBR Yakhnich Yamaha YZF-R6 +3.957s
3. Vladimir Leonov RUS Yakhnich Yamaha YZF-R6 +4.409s
4. Lorenzo Zanetti ITA Pata Honda CBR600RR +6.435s
5. Michael van der Mark NED Pata Honda CBR600RR +9.967s
6. Luca Scassa ITA Intermoto PonyExpres Kawasaki ZX-6R +13.437s
7. Andrea Antonelli ITA Go Eleven Kawasaki ZX-6R +14.112s
8. Florian Marino FRA Intermoto PonyExpres Kawasaki ZX-6R +28.194s
9. Alex Baldolini ITA Suriano Suzuki GSX-R600 +29.018s
10. Sherian Morais RSA PTR Honda CBR600RR +29.137s
11. Raffaele de Rosa ITA Lorini Honda CBR600RR +29.592s
12. Fabien Foret FRA Mahi India Kawasaki ZX-6R +29.763s
13. Jack Kennedy IRL RivaMoto Honda CBR600RR +29.957s
14. Roberto Rolfo ITA ParkinGO MV Agusta F3 +30.831s
15. Fabio Menghi ITA VFT Yamaha YZF-R6 +39.902s