WSS: Crutchlow secures Supersport crown

Cal Crutchlow finishes fourth in Portimao to win the 2009 World Supersport title in his maiden season.
Cal Crutchlow has been crowned the 2009 World Supersport Champion after his fourth place result in the final race of the season at Portimao proved more than enough to take the title.

Heading into the race needing just a tenth place finish, although Crutchlow shied away from challenging for the victory, his run to fourth sees him become the first non-Ten Kate Honda rider to win the title in seven years.

The race itself was won by the only rider able to challenge Crutchlow, with Eugene Laverty doing exactly what he needed to do in claiming a dominant victory on Parkalgar Honda's home ground.

A race largely devoid of action, particularly compared to many of the epic races that have defined the 2009 season, Laverty got a good start from pole position to take a lead he wouldn't lose into the opening bend.

Followed by Kenan Sofuoglu, Crutchlow would run third initially before being passed by the Kawasaki of Lascorz. The Spaniard would also get the better of Sofuoglu on lap three, but his hopes of overhauling the Turk for third in the standings were dashed just moments later when he crashed out of the race.

By this point, Laverty had opened up a sizeable lead over fellow Honda man Sofuoglu, the Irishman sprinting to the chequered flag to win his fourth race of the season by 3.4secs.

Crutchlow's task, meanwhile, was merely to reach the finish, a strategy he stuck to on lap eight when he refused to get embroiled in a fight with the charging Triumph of Garry McCoy, the Briton preferring to let him into third place.

However, with no rider close enough to challenge him for fourth, Crutchlow was left to simply shadow McCoy, crossing the line to become Britain's first World Supersport champion by seven points.

Despite losing their grip on the Supersport riders' title for the first time since 2001, Laverty and Sofuoglu were nonetheless instrumental in helping Honda to a seventh consecutive manufacturers' crown, 13 points up on Yamaha.

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Racefan - Unregistered

October 25, 2009 4:57 PM

Congratulations to Cal, rode very sensibly today to wrap up one of the hardest fought titles out there. Also congratulations to Eugene, both today and over the season, valiant effort on a privateer bike against a factory team. Either would have been a worthy champion, sadly there can only be one!

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