WorldSSP: Yari Montella takes his first victory in the opening race of the season

Published on February 24, 2024
By Luke Newman

After a long winter break the World Supersport category sprang back into action around Phillip Island with Adrian Huertas on pole for the first time on a Ducati.

On the starting grid before the race began drama already struck as Bahattin Sofuoglu was moved to the back of the grid. Then Adrian Huertas was wheeled off of the grid due to bike issues but did manage to start the race.

As the lights went out it was Yari Montella and Marcel Schroetter who led the pack away from the start, until the R6 of Stefano Manzi joined the party.

The Italian rider of Manzi took the lead off of the Ducati and MV Agusta rider and began to try and set a rhythm of his own. But further back disaster struck for his team-mate Glenn van Straalen as he crashed out and collected Can Oncu as well.

Despite Huertas’ best efforts to get back into the race the Spaniard could not continue and had to pull back into the pit lane after not even completing a lap.

There were some early movers with Tom Booth-Amos making his way up to sixth place, Oliver Bayliss made his way to seventh and Sofuoglu who started from the pits made his way up to 13th.

A second Ducati withdrew from the race as Niki Tuuli had to pull into the pits and retire from the opening race of the season.

The lead finally changed with 11 laps to go, just before the mandatory pit-stop as Monetlla grabbed the lead off of Manzi. However, Manzi continued to fall as Schroetter and Valentin Debise continued to push the Italian back down the order from first to fourth in a few corners.

There were more crashes further down the order as Hikari Okubo and British rider, Booth-Amos, ended their races early.

The pit-stops began at the earliest point possible as the leader Montella dived into the pits with Manzi, who came in earlier than his team expected so were not ready for him. Due to the pit-stops Schroetter grabbed the lead from Debise and Jorge Navarro.

Montella and Manzi rejoined the race in 15th and 16th place, with the 14 riders ahead still needing to dive into the pits. Which happened the very next lap as Schroetter came in from the lead of the race, with only Sofuoglu, Yeray Ruiz, Anupab Sarmoon and Krittapat Keankum still left to make their stops.

Montella gained an enormous lead as he passed his fellow race rivals who were still in the pits and gained a six second lead. With Manzi and Schroetter back in second and third, with Bayliss in fourth place at home.

With seven laps to go Niccolo Antonelli and Lorenzo Baldassarri crashed out of the race as well. Disaster also struck for rookie Kaito Toba who was given a three second penalty for leaving the pits too soon after his mandatory pit-stop.

Back at the front Montella had extended his lead to 7.8 seconds with only four laps to go. However, the battle for second and third was hotting up as Manzi and Schroetter were knocking lumps out of each-other to try and secure second place.

It was an Italian 1-2 in the opening race of the season as Montella took the win from Manzi, with the German rider Schroetter in third. But home hero Bayliss finished in fifth place with British rider, John McPhee finishing in eighth place.

2024 Australian WorldSSP | Phillip Island | Race One Results | Rd. 1 of 12
1Yari MontellaITABarni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V2
2Stefano ManziITAPata Yamaha Ten KateYamaha R6+6.666
3Marcel SchroetterGERMV Agusta Reparto CorseMV Agusta F3 800 RR+6.968
4Federico CaricasuloITAMotozoo ME AIR RacingMV Agusta F3 800 RR+16.748
5Oliver BaylissAUSD34G RacingDucati Panigale V2+17.452
6Bahattin SofuogluTURMV Agusta Reparto CorseMV Agusta F3 800 RR+17.590
7Jorge NavarroESPWRP-RT MotorsportTriumph STR 765 RS+18.066
8John McPheeGBRWRP-RT MotorsportTriumph STR 765 RS+18.072
9Lucas MahiasFRAGMT 94Yamaha R6+21.741
10Tom ToparisAUSStop & Seal RacingYamaha R6+31.009
11Yeray RuizESPVFT RacingYamaha R6+32.350
12Anupab SarmoonTHAYamaha Thailand RacingYamaha R6+37.727
13Marcel BrennerSUIVIAMO RacingKawasaki ZX-6R+38.621
14Ondrej VostatekCZEPTR TriumphTriumph STR 765 RS+48.278
15Khairul Idham Bin PawiMASPetronas MIE RacingHonda CBR600RR+57.807
16Krittapat KeankumTHAYamaha Thailand RacingYamaha R6+1:13.706
17Niki TuuliFINEAB RacingDucati Panigale V2+1 Lap
18Glenn van StraalenNEDPata Yamaha Ten KateYamaha R6+5 Laps
DNFKaito TobaJPNPetronas MIE RacingHonda CBR600RR
DNFLorenzo BaldassarriITAOrelac Racing VerdnaturaDucati Panigale V2
DNFNicollo AntonelliITAAlthea Racing TeamDucati Panigale V2
DNFValentin DebiseFRAEvan Bros. WorldSSPYamaha R6
DNFTom Booth-AmosGBRPTR TriumphTriumph STR 765 RS
DNFHikari OkuboJPNVince64 Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-6R
DNFAdrian HuertasESPAruba Racing WSSPDucati Panigale V2
DNFCan OncuTURKawasaki Puccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-6R

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