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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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Al Sulaiti finds the going tough, finishes 17th

Swiss Krummenacher wins his first Supersport title as Deroue narrowly clinches Supersport 300.
26 Sulaiti 1
Qatar’s Saeed Al Sulaiti was satisfied with his Supersport outing at the Losail International Circuit. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

Qatar’s Saeed Al Sulaiti finished a rather disappointing 17th in the final race of the Supersport season at the Losail International Circuit on Saturday. A few difficult laps early in the race put paid to his plans of improving on his best-ever finish (15th at California in 2016) at a World Championships.

But he put up a gritty fightback, especially after falling back to 21st soon after the start.

Al Sulaiti moved up to 12th on the starting grid, from his original 13th , after Italy’s De Rosa of MV Augusta Reparto Corse (11th) got penalised for ‘irresponsible and dangerous riding,’ according to FIM regulations. Corse was pushed behind by three places.

The promotion helped the local rider get off to a great start, but ran into trouble soon after.

“There were a few close touches with the other riders. I went off the track and fell back to 21st. That was disappointing, but I got back my rhythm, stayed focused and gained a few positions to ultimately finish 17th,” he said.

At the start of the race, Al Sulaiti’s goal had been to set a new benchmark for Qatari riders.

Sulaiti Action

Qatar’s Saeed Al Sulaiti staged a determined fightback after early setbacks in the Supersport race. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

“I finished 15th in 2016 and wanted to be in the top 12, if not the top 10, so that I could set a record for the best finish by a Qatari rider at a World Championship. It wasn’t to be,” he said.

Al Sulaiti said they had got the maximum out of his Yamaha YZF R6 bike.

“We were making changes even during the warm-up sessions, but decided to stop there as we didn’t want to take too many risks during the race,” he said.

Asked whether advancing the race by an hour affected his preparations, Al Sulaiati said, “Not really. I think there was the worry of rain and since the Supersport title wasn’t decided, the race was held before the Supersport 300,” he said.

There was a three-way contest for the crown between Bardahl Evan Bros World SSP team’s Swiss rider Randy Krummenacher, his Italian teammate Federico Caricasulo and GMT94 Yamaha’s Frances Jules Cluzel.

But Kawasaki Puccetti Racing’s French rider Lucas Mahias outdid all of them to win in a time of 30min 43.175sec. Cluzel finished second while Kallio Racing’s Spanish rider Isaac Vinales was third.

Caricasulo and Krummenacher finished fourth and fifth respectively, but the positions did not matter as the Swissman laid claim to his first Supersport World Championship title.

The Supersport 300 was a close race which saw the Netherlands’ Scott Deroue (Kawasaki Motoport), fellow countryman and teammate Koen Meuffels and Italy’s Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) finish in the top three.

The 2019 championship had already been won by Spain’s Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) who finished fourth on Saturday.

Randy
Switzerland’s Randy Krummenacher celebrates after being crowned Supersport world champion. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

RESULTS

SUPERSPORT
1. Lucas Mahias (ITA)Kawasaki Puccetti Racing30:43.175S
2. Jules Cluzel (FRA)GMT94 Yamaha30:44.043
3. Isaac Vinales (ESP)Kallio Racing30:46.507
4. Federico Caricasulo(ITA)Bardahl Even Bros World SSP Team30:51.208
5. Randy Krummenacher (SUI)Bardahl Even Bros World SSP Team30:51.605
SUPERSPORT 300
1. Scott Deroue (NED)Kawasaki Motoport22:37.924
2. Koen Meuffels (NED)Kawasaki Motoport22:37.934
3. Bruno Ieraci (ITA)Kawasaki GP Project)22:38.173
4. Manuel Gonzales (ESP)Kawasaki ParkinGO Team22: 38.447
5. Ana Carrasco (ESP)Kawasaki Provec World SSP 30022:38.534
4. Manuel Gonzales (ESP)Kawasaki ParkinGO Team22: 38.447