WSS: Crutchlow claims dominant home win
28 June 2009
Cal Crutchlow has taken a significant step towards the 2009 World Supersport Championship title after claiming a dominant victory on home soil at Donington Park.
Leading for the majority of the race, Crutchlow's achievement, however, was almost overshadowed by a superb ride from key rival Eugene Laverty, who launched an immense fight back to finish fifth following a tumble on the third lap that left him at the back of the field.
Having dominated all sessions prior to the race, Crutchlow was the hot favourite to convert his pole position into a race win, but he was defeated into the opening bend by Joan Lascorz, who moved into the lead from third on the grid.
Crutchlow and Laverty slotted in behind the Kawasaki rider and it would soon become obvious that the victor would emerge from the top three as they pulled away immediately.
However, having broken the lap record on his first flying lap in the race, Laverty's hopes of challenging Crutchlow for the win came to an end on lap three when he lost the back-end of his Parkalgar Honda at the low speed Melbourne Hairpin.
Being spun off his machine, Laverty frantically attempted to get the bike upright again, but while he was successful in getting going, he was left at the back of the field having lost twenty seconds on the leaders.
Almost straight away, Crutchlow planted his move on Lascorz to claim the lead, a position he would hold to the chequered flag despite the best attempts of the Spaniard to keep up with his rival.
Setting a series of record-breaking lap times, including a 1min 32.449secs lap, Crutchlow would simply march to the finish line to win by more than five seconds over Lascorz.
Meanwhile, Garry McCoy returned to the Supersport podium with a fantastic run to third position on the BE1 Racing Triumph. Keeping the leaders honest in the early stages, McCoy reeled in Kenan Sofuoglu before overtaking him with ten laps remaining. The result signals Triumph's best since entering the Supersport category.
Beyond the unusually spaced out leaders, Laverty occupied the majority of the airtime as he battled his way back into contention following his delay.
Lapping almost two seconds a lap faster than those ahead of him, Laverty scythed his way up the order – despite a brief coming together with Barry Veneman – to head for what looked like an astonishing sixth place finish. That would become fifth three laps from the end when Fabien Foret suffered a late retirement.
His herculean effort means Crutchlow's extension in the standings has been limited to 14 points, raising the advantage to a total of 28 points.
Veneman, in only his second event with the Ten Kate backed George White Honda, scored his best result of the season in sixth, holding off Gianluca Vizziello, the Italian doing a fine job after qualifying a lowly 22nd.
Gianluca Nannelli completed Triumph's impressive day in eighth, ahead of Danilo Dell'Omo and Andrew Pitt, the Australian now all but having conceded his Supersport title this weekend.
Elsewhere, there was some British success, with wild-card James Westmorland finishing 11th and Kev Coghlan scoring points in 13th. Wild-card Hudson Kennaugh was 14th, but Michael Laverty retired whilst running just inside the points early on.
In a race of high attrition, Massimo Roccoli, Anthony West, Katsuaki Fujiwara and Mark Aitchison all fell whilst in contention for good results.