2018 Magny-Cours World Supersport Race Results: A Game Of Chicken

World Supersport was thirty riders competing over nineteen laps of Magny-Cours with French riders challenging at the sharp end in front of their home crowd. 

Federico Caricasulo started the race in pole position ahead of Lucas Mahias and Jules Cluzel. Mahias got the hole shot but Cluzel took the lead into turn five, with Caricasulo in third place. Corentin Perolari and Randy Krummenacher traded places a couple of times ahead of Sandro Cortese, but Cortese passed Krummenacher after a small mistake and settled in a second off of Perolari's fourth place. Perolari had set a new lap record the lap before.

Five laps in, Sandro Cortese closed the gap to the leading four as six Yamahas led the race by over two seconds. Raffaele De Rosa in seventh place on his MV Agusta was over a second ahead of Randy Krummenacher's Yamaha. As Thomas Gradinger, struggling to keep up with the five riders ahead of him, dropped off the back of Corentin Perolari, Lucas Mahias nipped at the heels of Jules Cluzel, only to have Sandro Cortese pass him after passing Federico Caricasulo. Perolari and Gradinger closed back up to Caricasulo to make it a six-bike bunch at the front at half race distance. 

Jules Cluzel and Sandro Cortese swapped the lead back and forth ahead of Federico Caricasulo and Lucas Mahias on lap ten as the top four cleared off at the front, leaving Corentin Perolari and Thomas Gradinger to fight for fifth place. A couple of laps later, Gradinger passed Perolari and sat two and three quarters off Mahias's fourth place. Sandro Cortese then took the lap record off Perolari by only seven thousandths of a second and took the lead from Cluzel a lap later at turn five. 

Jules Cluzel took the lead back again at the chicane as the front four were four and a half second clear of the fifth placed Gradinger. With four laps to go, Randy Krummenacher had caught Thomas Gradinger and Corentin Perolari as Cluzel and Cortese swapped the lead back and forth again, Cortese making a pass stick at turn five only for Cluzel to take it back at the following chicane. 

As the laps wound down, with the front four as a group, Thomas Gradinger sat over seven seconds off the fight for the win in fifth place, but he was no longer troubled by Corentin Perolari who was now scrapping with, and conceding sixth place to, Randy Krummenacher. 

On the last lap, Jules Cluzel hammered out a lead of three quarters of a second that grew to a full second halfway round the lap. Federico Caricasulo a few laps from the end looked like he had very little grip left as Lucas Mahias challenged him for the last podium spot behind Sandro Cortese, and as Mahias took advantage of Caricasulo sliding off-line, Mahias sat on the inside of a the next turn. Federico Caricasulo carried a bit too much speed for the amount of grip his front tyre had left and he slid his bike off the track. Lucas Mahias pressed his advantage and tried to catch and pass Sandro Cortese, but it wasn't to be.

Jules Cluzel won the race after a hard push over the last two laps, spending whatever his tyres had left because he thought lap eighteen was the last lap, with a lead of almost two seconds. Sandro Cortese held off Lucas Mahias and Thomas Gradinger finished fourth, nine seconds later. Federico Caricasulo was able to pick his bike up and limp home in thirteenth place, a testament to how much faster the leading Yamahas were than the rest of the field. 

Jules Cluzel's win closed the gap to Sandro Cortese's lead to just eleven points with two rounds remaining. Cluzel was supported by his chicken mascot, a nod to the Coq as the French sporting mascot. Lucas Mahias slipped in the shower before the race and wasn't sure he'd be able to start, while Federico Caricasulo slipped on track and joined Mahias in the "probably can't take the title" group, either side of eighth-placed Raffaele De Rosa and behind Randy Krummenacher who is twenty nine points off the title chase.

Sandro Cortese and Jules Cluzel, the title favourites, head off to continue the battle at  Villicum, Argentina, where nobody in the championship has raced before.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 16 J. CLUZEL Yamaha YZF R6  
2 11 S. CORTESE Yamaha YZF R6 1.746
3 144 L. MAHIAS Yamaha YZF R6 1.903
4 36 T. GRADINGER Yamaha YZF R6 11.026
5 21 R. KRUMMENACHER Yamaha YZF R6 14.087
6 6 C. PEROLARI Yamaha YZF R6 14.792
7 3 R. DE ROSA MV Agusta F3 675 15.119
8 111 K. SMITH Honda CBR600RR 21.501
9 78 H. OKUBO Kawasaki ZX-6R 21.959
10 98 H. BARBERA Kawasaki ZX-6R 22.082
11 38 H. SOOMER Honda CBR600RR 26.832
12 86 A. BADOVINI MV Agusta F3 675 29.136
13 64 F. CARICASULO Yamaha YZF R6 31.992
14 56 P. SEBESTYEN Honda CBR600RR 38.627
15 81 L. STAPLEFORD Yamaha YZF R6 40.553
16 88 C. STANGE Kawasaki ZX-6R 41.329
17 47 R. HARTOG Kawasaki ZX-6R 41.987
18 84 L. CRESSON Yamaha YZF R6 42.022
19 77 W. TESSELS Kawasaki ZX-6R 44.096
20 34 J. ITURRIOZ Kawasaki ZX-6R 59.216
21 49 S. HORNSEY Triumph Daytona 675 59.811
22 33 K. VAN LEUVEN Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'02.585
23 82 P. PEKKANEN Triumph Daytona 675 1'09.458
24 10 N. CALERO Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'19.086
25 15 A. COPPOLA Yamaha YZF R6 1'31.517
26 12 A. MURLEY Honda CBR600RR 1 Lap
RET 67 G. MATERN Kawasaki ZX-6R 1 Lap
RET 80 M. BAU Yamaha YZF R6 3 Laps
RET 71 M. MUZIO Yamaha YZF R6 3 Laps
RET 74 J. VAN SIKKELERUS Honda CBR600RR 7 Laps
Round Number: 
11
2018
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