Cluzel earns 7 more points to make it a gap of -13 behind leader Sofuoglu
After the California round, reserved only for SBK, the WSS championship was back at Sepang, confirming the MV Agusta Reparto Corse results, placing both riders on the podium.
Unfortunately, this time it wasn’t the top step of the podium like at Misano, but rather just behind PJ Jacobsen, who had the first win of his career as well as the first American to bring home a WSS win.
At the start it was Sofuoglu who provided the first turn of events, running straight on and ending up in the middle of the group, whilst Cluzel, riding in the lead, was overtaken by PJ Jacobsen. Behind the Frenchman it was Smith, Zanetti and Rolfo in that order, but Sofuoglu came back with his usually strength. In the second lap Zanetti moved up into third place but a lap later he found the Turkish rider’s Kawasaki on his pipes. On the 10th lap the two caught up the leading duo, creating a quartet led by Jacobsen, Cluzel, Zanetti and Sofuoglu, whilst the threat of rain showers which never came continued to hang over the race.
In fact, the pace did not drop and the Kawasaki ridden by the current championship leader, after overtaking Zanetti, attempted to repeat the performance on Cluzel, but in vain, partly because both Jacobsen and the Frenchman had enough of a gap to keep the Turkish rider at bay. Zanetti, who took pole position on Friday, also demonstrated his determination and skill, closing down the gap of four tenths of a second behind the Turk. And so Lorenzo was back on the podium (his second in a row), overtaking Sofuoglu in the final lap, whilst Cluzel tried to break through to get past PJ Jacobsen on the last turn, but without success.
For Jules the gap in the overall standings has now been reduced by another seven points, with Sofuoglu at 168, followed by Cluzel at 155, Jacobsen at 140 and Lorenzo Zanetti at 113. With this result the MV Agusta now leads in the manufacturer standings with 173 points, ahead of Kawasaki with 172.
#87, Lorenzo Zanetti, who had an outstanding performance, had this to say: “I made a mistake on the first lap. Then I recovered and went on to take my second podium in a row after Misano. But now I’d like to win a race before the end of the season….”
#16, Jules Cluzel, at the end of another textbook race, said: “It wasn’t an easy weekend, but I’m satisfied. We earned some more valuable points in the overall standings. I tried to overtake Jacobsen, forcing him to the outside on the last turn, but it didn’t stick. In any case it was a good race.”
It was another difficult weekend for Leon Camier who finished the Malaysian round with a 13th place finish in Race 1 and a 12th place in Race 2, earning 7 points and staying in 14th place in the overall standings.
The championship for factory derivative bikes will now head back to Europe where on 20 September, on the Jerez circuit, the third from the last round of this exciting world championship challenge will take place.