Anthony West’s EAB antwest Racing World Supersport Team arrived at Misano on Italy’s Adriatic coast, unsure of what to expect, with the track’s three low speed corners not lending themselves to the Kawasaki’s acceleration, and sure to provide a challenge.
On Sunday morning the sun made its presence known, with track temperature climbing and the final rear tire choice needing to be made. The last track temperature reading for the race was 46 degrees on the grid.
Starting from pole position after dominating qualifying on Saturday, Yamaha’s Caricasulo was forced to sit in behind Jules Cluzel for the opening three laps, after the Frenchman took the advantage from the start. Clearly the faster rider, Caricasulo made his move on lap three with a clean pass on Cluzel to take the race lead.
Setting a fast and consistent pace at the front the Italian was never headed for the remainder of the race and crossed the line to claim his first win of the season and his first since the Jerez race in 2017. The win sees Caricasulo jump from sixth to fourth in the championship standings with 104 points, 12 points adrift of third-placed Randy Krummenacher.
“I’m really happy to win here at Misano, as it’s always special to win in front of your home crowd. This weekend I had the perfect bike and for that I need to thank both my team and Yamaha for their work and commitment. There is no better way to end the first half of the season with a win, so we go into the summer break on a high.”
Ant meanwhile was able to get a decent start off the line and was in ninth position at the end of the first lap. At the conclusion of lap two, Ant was into seventh position trying to stay with the stronger accelerating Yamahas.
By lap 8, Ant was in sixth and pulling away from the following riders. As he started the final lap, Ant was still in sixth and was able to holding off a late charge from Kyle Smith in seventh. When the checkered flag came out, Ant crossed the line in sixth, and was the first Kawasaki.
Anthony West – P6
“I’m never happy unless I’m winning, but for our package and lack of budget compared to other teams the weekend went pretty well. We missed the mark a little in the heat of Superpole and that put us a little further back on the grid then I wanted to be but, overall, the team gave me a good motorcycle that we didn’t have to change a whole lot from Friday to Sunday. We were once again the best Kawasaki in the race. Hopefully, the new ECU we are supposed to receive during the summer break will help close the gap to the Yamahas.”
Despite not finding the pace to match Caricasulo in the second half of the race, De Rosa takes home his best-ever result in WorldSSP and a fifth consecutive podium, a huge boost for him going into the summer break. Amidst a sea of Yamaha machines, the Italian’s efforts aboard the MV Agusta cannot be overstated.
With his third place, Cortese increases his championship lead to five points over Cluzel, who finally crossed the line in fourth position after riding alone most of the latter stages of the race.
Krummenacher made it to the flag in fifth place, thurteen seconds off the race winner,Kyle Smith (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) in seventh and again in the top ten after changing team before Brno.
Eighth position went to wildcard Lorenzo Gabellini (G.A.S. Racing Team), his first points finish in WorldSSP after also racing at Imola. Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) made a phenomenal start to his race, moving up to fifth inside the first lap, but by the end he could only make it to the flag in ninth. Ayrton Badovini (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) was the fourth and final home rider inside the top ten, taking tenth spot.
Post race analysis shows that Ant finished the race in sixth place on the twenty fifth fastest bike through the speed trap. The ten points earned bring Ant’s total to fifty one, moving him into seventh in the riders championship and first Kawasaki rider.
The EAB antwest Racing team with only one rider is eighth in the team championship. Ant has also delivered more points than any other rider, or team combination, to Kawasaki’s 67 points total in the manufacturer championship.
WorldSBK 2018 – Misano – World Supersport Standings
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