Jules Cluzel maintained his chances of a first world title for MV Agusta since 1974 with a lights-to-flag victory in the World Supersport race at Misano.
The Frenchman was forced to contend with off-track issues in the build up to the seventh round of the series as the Yakhnich outfit withdrew support from all racing affairs with immediate effect due of financial reasons. It left MV to announce it would step in to upgrade its effort to an in-house full-factory entry.
Starting from pole, Cluzel produced a commanding performance under the Italian sun to establish a one second advantage in the early stages of the race to lead a chasing pack of PJ Jacobsen, Kenan Sofuoglu and Michael van der Mark.
As the Dutchman moved to the front of the fight for second he set about reeling Cluzel in, whittling the lead down to below a second at one stage. But Cluzel responded to take his second win of the season and reduce van der Mark's championship lead to 28 points.
“My plan was to start fast,” he told Crash.net
. “I did it and I'm happy. The only difficult thing was the last part of the race. I really concentrate, it was difficult but we improved with the concentration and I'm proud of all the team because they did a great job for the race. I was a little bit scared for some things but they became much better in the race.
“I tried to be under control but I keep pushing,” he said. “When he comes back at the end I try to push another time and I did it. It was really cool because at the end I struggle with the tyre and I manage to be fast. I think this can help with the next races and I think we can have a great fight.”
With 125 points left to play in the 2014 season Cluzel believes his Italian win can be the beginning of a final championship push.
“I hope in the last five races we can continue like this and try to come back in the championship.”