Kawasaki Puccetti Racing’s Randy Krummenacher took a shock victory at the opening round of the World Supersport season as team-mate Kenan Sofuoglu crashed out of the lead at Phillip Island.
American PJ Jacobsen took the lead from the lights going into Doohan for the first time ahead of Frederico Caricasulo and Sofulogu, who wasted no time to hunt Jacobsen down for the lead which he took at Lukey Heights.
The front five began to break away from the pack and Jules Cluzel slingshotted into the lead going into the first corner, however this didn’t last long as Krummenacher took the lead on the second lap.
In true WSS fashion it wasn’t a front five for long, and Wildcard entry Anthony West crept up into third position having made up a stunning 11 spaces in the opening four laps.
West was issued a penalty from race direction, ordering the Australian to move down two positions but with the strong pace of this race he was soon able to make the positions back up and led with 12 laps to go.
It was evenly matched at the front with 10 laps to go as no rider was able to break away and it was slipstream which seemed to be the winner.
After fighting for the victory and leading the race during the opening laps drama soon hit the series as Jules Cluzel ran off track at the Southern Loop with nine laps to go. It looked to be an issue with his MV Agusta but he was able to remount and finish the race.
Team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti then crashed out seconds later, meaning the MV Agusta Reparto Corse team lost both riders in the space of a few corners.
Britain’s Gino Rea qualified in 18th and with 7 laps to go he was up into fifth position, setting the fastest lap and had potential podium finishing pace.
Sofuoglu seemed to be given the chance to break away from the pack and took his chance as six laps remained, but with rain flags being waved the reigning champion began to pull a two second lead.
Rain fall became heavier on the 13th lap and Krummenacher began to pull in the Turkish rider, but this was perhaps due to the wet conditions.
Leading the race with confidence and a solid lead Sofuoglu crashed out with three laps to go, seeming to gift the victory to his team-mate Krummencher.
Jacobsen was pushed back off the podium in the final corners by Caricasulo and West and the American crossed the line in fifth.
Britains Rea finished a strong seventh, Luke Stapleford narrowly missed out on a point in 16th position and Kyle Smith didn’t finish the race.
Making his full time debut in the class, Kyle Ryde crossed the line in 19th position despite showing a strong pace at the start of the weekend.
Top ten result:
1 21 R. KRUMMENACHER 1’34.239 1’34.805
2 64 F. CARICASULO 1’34.461 1’35.336 2.747
3 13 A. WEST 1’34.319 1’35.325 2.761
4 11 C. GAMARINO 1’34.442 1’34.821 2.917
5 2 P. JACOBSEN 1’34.582 1’35.454 3.200
6 25 A. BALDOLINI 1’34.251 1’35.733 3.545
7 4 G. REA 1’34.261 1’35.427 3.558
8 69 O. JEZEK 1’34.738 1’35.253 12.835
9 44 R. ROLFO 1’34.806 1’35.272 12.895
10 41 A. WAGNER 1’34.484 1’36.440 18.172