Zanetti comes back to finish fifth.
A round to file away in the archives for Camier, expected to be a protagonist at Misano.
Jules Cluzel puts in another stellar performance on the Algarve circuit. On a track which is quite similar to Phillip Island in terms of morphology, difficulty and beauty, the Frenchman once again unleashed his riding skills, aided well by his MV Agusta F3 to repeat the success achieved in the first race of the season.
His feeling on the ups and downs of the track was clear from the practice sessions where he dominated to bring homepole position with 1’44.554, almost three tenths of a second ahead of Sofuoglu.
In the race Jules got off the line like a shot, putting distance between himself and the pack behind him – 1.06 in the opening lap of the race – led by the Hondas ridden by Jacobsen and Smith, whereas Sofuoglu’s Kawasaki was in fourth place and the second F3 RC ridden by Zanetti in eighth. In the second lap Jacobsen managed to get past Jules, but the American’s run lasted less than a lap with the Frenchman domineeringly taking back the race lead for another nine laps.
In the meantime the Turkish Kawasaki rider, making a full comeback, moved up behind his main rival for the title. Lorenzo Zanetti was also making a comeback, moving up into sixth place and setting his sights on Smith’s Honda.Sofuoglu made his move in the twelfth lap, moving into the lead.
Jules wasted no time responding, putting on a show with acrobatic moves to resist the Turkish rider’s forcing and to challenge him to a duel to the last lap.
Cluzel moved into the lead in the first braking section, only to be overtaken and then to finally deal the lethal blow just a few turns from the end, killing any chance the Turkish rider may have had for a comeback. Lorenzo Zanetti also did well, managing to bring home a fifth place finish ahead of Smith, improving steadily over the weekend.
At the end of the race a beaming Jules Cluzel had this to say: “It was a long race. I moved into the lead, they came back and I even had some problems with traction but today I was sure that I was fastest and I proved it.”
With this win Cluzel moves up to 110 points in the overall standings, lying second behind Sofuoglu who has 140.Zanetti is lying fourth with 81 points.
Unfortunately the extraordinary WSS performance coincided with the worst performance of the season in WSBK, foreshadowed by the failure to get into Q2. In the few laps he took in both Race 1 and Race 2 Leon Camier hovered around tenth place and he was forced to withdraw due to mechanical problems, respectively because of a fuel pump and an electronic gearbox sensor.
He is expected to redeem himself promptly in the much-anticipated home race, scheduled for 21 June, when theteam MV Agusta Reparto Corse will take to the Misano track with a special celebratory graphic.