Randy Krummenacher has scored a famous victory in his first ever World Supersport race after team-mate Kenan Sofuoglu dramatically fell from the lead with just over two laps to run at Phillip Island.

In a topsy-turvy affair, where the free practice form book was ripped up to become almost totally irrelevant, Italian teenager Federico Caricasulo snatched second place away from wild card Anthony West in a typical slipstream duel to the flag.

Pulsating and at times perplexing, the 18-lap affair also claimed early leader Jules Cluzel, who ran off track at Southern Loop, and team-mate Lorenzo Zanetti, the Italian colliding with Caracasulo on the exit of turn four mid-way through proceedings.

Spots of rain peppered the track in the closing laps, just as free practice pace setter Sofuoglu was stamping his authority on the field. Until then a twelve-rider freight train held the attention in a typically frantic affair, before the slow starting Sofuoglu began to carve his way through the top six.

It was Cluzel - twice a crasher over the course of the weekend - who got the initial jump when the lights went out, with front row starter PJ Jacobsen and a determined West, climbing his way through from a fifth row start, to make the early running.

In the early exchanges lap times were some two seconds slower than the formidable pace Sofuoglu set in morning warm-up. As the reigning world champion lurked behind the top three, he gave the impression he was simply picking his moment to get through and escape from a group that included Caricasulo, Zanetti, Alex Baldolini, GoEleven Kawasaki's Christian Gamarino and the rapidly improving Gino Rea.

Considering the difficulties he had encountered through the weekend, it was somewhat surprising to see Cluzel posing the greatest threat to the Sofuoglu hegemony early on. Yet the Frenchman's early work soon came undone as he inexplicably ran off track at the Southern Loop.

Rejoining outside the top 20, the still-hobbling Cluzel's race was run. His MV Agusta Reparto Corse squad's afternoon would soon deteriorate further too. Just two corners further to be precise, as Lorenzo Zanetti was forced to stand his machine up in turn four, before his front wheel was collected by countryman Caricasulo on the stretch to Siberia.

It was then that Sofuoglu signalled his intentions, passing the spectacular Anthony West on lap eleven for the lead. From there a 33rd career win seemed a formality, despite Krummenacher's determined efforts to remain in his tow.

Rarely a class that offers predictable results, Sofuoglu was then seen rolling through the gravel on the exit to Siberia while managing what was a comfortable lead with just three laps remaining.

Thus a slightly disbelieving Krummenacher eased to a fine debut win, with Caricasulo winning out over West in an exciting dash to the finish line. Gamarino was fourth with Jacobsen leading Baldolini and Rea in a six-way fight for second that was covered by less than a second.

There was disappointment for Kyle Smith, who retired early on. British Supersport champion Luke Stapleford finished just outside the points in 16th with Kyle Ryde falling through the field to finish 19th. Stefan Hill was a place behind in 20th.

 

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