Anthony West battles the odds to take World Supersport podium at Phillip Island

Australian wild card, Anthony West, has again displayed his “never-say-die” attitude by finishing in a superb third place aboard his Yamaha in round one of the 2017 Supersport World Championship (WorldSSP) at Phillip Island this afternoon.

If the Aussie wild card’s performance wasn’t exciting enough for the local spectators, the battle for the win was one for the ages as veteran Italian Roberto Rolfo (MV Agusta) took victory, holding off Yamaha’s Lucas Mahias by just 0.001 seconds – the closest finish in World Supersport history.

Anthony West
Anthony West

West’s third was an amazing effort for the Queenslander who had experienced a disastrous week with a litany of engine problems on his Yamaha.   But West showed his customary aggression and fighting qualities in the 10-lap race as he immediately began carving his way through the field from a lowly grid position and latched onto the tail of the leading group.

It was always going to come down to a battle of wits on the final lap, and West’s luck finally turned when Federico Caricasulo (Yamaha) and Frenchman Jules Cluzel (Honda) collided at turn 10, which allowed the Queenslander to move into third position.

Despite his makeshift engine being well down on horsepower, Westy held onto third position until the chequered flag to take home the final spot on the WorldSSP podium for the second year in succession.

West said the result “was amazing” considering the difficult circumstances.

“From Monday until now it has been a disaster with broken engines… and we didn’t expect to even race,” said West. “Our bike was down 10 horsepower on the others, so to finish third is simply an amazing result.

World Supersport Podium - Round One - Phillip Island - Image by GeeBee
World Supersport Podium – Round One – Phillip Island – Image by GeeBee

“All my friends and families helped me put this all together, not to mention local sponsors, so it’s a real Australian effort. I am so happy to give something back to them with this great result.  It’s awesome.”

Anthony West - Image by GeeBee
Anthony West – Image by GeeBee

Briton Kyle Ryde (Kawaski) was fourth from Finn Niki Tuuli (Yamaha) and American polesitter Patrick Jacobsen (MV Agusta), who had to fight his way back through the pack after running off at turn 10 on lap three.

It was also a brilliant day for the two other Aussie pilots, with Aiden Wagner making a superb debut for his new Honda team in seventh, while 17-year-old Lachlan Epis (Kawasaki) was 10th.

Aiden Wagner
Aiden Wagner

World Supersport 2017 – Round One – Phillip Island – Race Results

  1. Rolfo / MV Agusta
  2. Mahias +0.001 / Yamaha
  3. West +1.544 / Yamaha
  4. Ryde +1.679 / Kawasaki
  5. Tuuli +1.727 / Yamaha
  6. Jacobsen +5.237 / MV Agusta
  7. Wagner +5.387 / Honda
  8. Watanabe +6.610 / Kawasaki
  9. Calero +8.057 / Kawasaki
  10. Epis +8.309 / Kawasaki
  11. Morais +10.264 / Yamaha
  12. Khairuddin +11.579 / Kawasaki
  13. Baldolini +14.148 / MV Agusta
  14. Canducci +23.247 / Kawasaki