WSS: Lascorz survives for home turf win
11 April 2010
Joan Lascorz has taken the lead of the World Supersport Championship standings after completing his third career victory on home soil in Valencia.
In a race of attrition that saw just twelve riders reach the chequered flag, Kenan Sofuoglu and Chaz Davies ensured there were three different manufacturer representatives on the podium, while pole sitter Eugene Laverty could only manage fifth place.
Laverty had led the way at the close of the opening lap having fought his way back past the fast starting Lascorz through the opening bends, while the feisty Davies slotted into third ahead of Sofuoglu.
There was drama just behind though when both Katsuaki Fujiwara and Michele Pirro both fell at the same corner, albeit in separate accidents, their problems prompting those behind to slow up and create a substantial gap for the leading group.
It meant victory was always likely to emerge from this quartet, which continued to be headed by Laverty until Lascorz got a run on him down the home straight on lap six.
With the Kawasaki rider pushing himself into the lead, much to the delight of the partisan crowd, Laverty proceeded to run wide and gift second position to Davies.
From here it was clear that Laverty's pace was beginning to wane, the Parkalgar Honda man dropping to fourth behind Sofuoglu on lap seven before proceeding to fall away sharply in the battle for the podium positions.
Lascorz, meanwhile, was putting the hammer down, pulling out a comfortable lead over Davies, who was now once again in the clutches of Sofuoglu. Despite the gulf in experience between the pair – this is only Davies' sixth WSS start -, the Welshman was doing a mighty job of keeping Sofuoglu at bay, the former champion eventually getting a run on his rival on lap 13 after drafting past him down the home straight.
Left with ten laps to close the gap down to Lascorz, Sofuoglu pushed on, but the Spaniard – egged on by his Motocard Kawasaki crew – matched him lap for lap to complete his win by a comfortable three seconds.
His third career win, his second for Kawasaki, it is also the second time he has won at Valencia after the youngster claimed a surprise victory on the privateer Glaner Honda in 2008. His success also means he now holds a four point lead over Sofuoglu in the standings.
Just behind, Davies completed a superb maiden podium finish in third, thus equalling Triumph's best result at this level, although with team-mate David Salom finishing fourth, this will go down as the manufacturer's most successful weekend yet overall.
Indeed, Salom put in a fine charge from the mid-field after an early delay to catch and pass Laverty with three laps remaining, the Irishman left a somewhat bemused fifth having broken the lap record only a day earlier.
Sixth place fell to Gino Rea, the reigning Superstock 600 champion going even better on the Intermoto Honda to overtake Matthieu Lagrive on the very final lap.
Alexander Lundh was eighth for his first top ten finish, ahead of Robbin Harms, while Fabien Foret and Michele Pirro put in fine performances in tenth and 11th after falling earlier in the race.
Indeed, with Miguel Praia finishing last, just twelve riders would see the chequered flag – three less than the 15 required to score points.