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Cluzel clings onto Misano victory

22 June 2014

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  • Jules Cluzel leads from start-to-finish to claim his and MV Agusta's second WSS win of the season
  • Michael van der Mark launches a late charge but cannot pressure the faultless Frenchman
  • PJ Jacobsen notches up his first WSS podium for Intermoto Kawasaki

Jules Cluzel has made in-roads into Michael van der Mark's World Supersport Championship lead with a convincing lights-to-flag win over his main rival at Misano.

A faultless ride by the Frenchman on MV Agusta's home soil, Cluzel made the most of his pole position to lead from turn one before never putting a wheel wrong en route to his and the manufacturer's second victory of the season.

Breaking PATA Honda's run of four consecutive wins, Cluzel may have faced a greater challenge from van der Mark had it not taken until lap 11 of 19 for the Dutchman to ascend to second place having been bumped down to fourth when he was caught up in Kenan Sofuoglu's error in front of him, thus allowing PJ Jacobsen ahead of him.

Another disappointing race for the pre-season favourite, Sofuoglu would drop behind his rivals to fourth as the race progressed, with van der Mark making his move on Jacobsen ahead on lap 11 to mount a charge towards Cluzel. However, Cluzel would retain enough in reserve to keep van der Mark at bay by just over a second all the way to the chequered flag.

A psychological win for Cluzel after losing out on victory to van der Mark by 0.018secs in Sepang, the win sees him pull back five points in the fight for the WSS title too. It means the former WSBK rider is now 28 points behind his main rival in what is increasingly looking like a two-horse race as Florian Marino, Lorenzo Zanetti and especially Sofuoglu fade away from the lead.

Behind them, Jacobsen held on for third after an inspired ride aboard the Intermoto Kawasaki, the American celebrating his first WSS podium success, ahead of a fading Sofuoglu in fourth.

With 12 Italian riders racing in WSS this weekend, Roberto Tamburini had the honour of leading the home fight in fifth place after prevailing in a race-long tussle with Zanetti, while Marino and Kev Coghlan crossed the line in seventh and eighth.

A frustrating race for PTR Honda having started third and fifth with Raffaele de Rosa and Ratthapark Wilairot, the former ended his chances of a podium with a fall early on, while the latter would slip back to ninth at the finish.

Maintaining his run of points' finishes, Roberto Rolfo was tenth, with Alessandro Nocco 11th ahead of Jack Kennedy, Kevin Wahr, series returnee Massimo Roccoli and Kevin Wahr.

Elsewhere, front row starter Raffaele de Rosa was running fifth initially before taking a tumble and finishing outside of the points.


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