World Supersport, Valencia: Crutchlow Takes His First Win

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The 23-year-old British rider Cal Crutchlow scored his first World Supersport win in only the third race of his first full season in the series when he crushed Australian Anthony West in a 23-lap super-struggle on the Ricardo Tormo circuit at Valencia.

The 2006 British Supersport champion also jumped to the joint leadership of the points table after a stunning performance on his factory Yamaha R6.

“We can do the race distance on a tyre in practice, and on the last lap I’m as fast as last year’s fastest lap in the race,” Crutchlow hinted the night before the race.

And his words rang true as he pounced past West, on a Stiggy Honda CBR600, as they started the final lap. West then glanced behind and lost several lengths, while Crutchlow kept his head down and forced out a lead of just 0.171s by the time he swept past the chequered flag.

He now has 54 points – the same total as the 2007 World Supersport champion Kenan Sofuoglu on the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda, who finished third in the Valencia race.

Eugene Laverty, winner of the previous round on his Parkalgar Honda, had to start from the fifth row, but fought to ninth place and hangs onto third place in the table, on 43 points.

Reigning champion Andrew Pitt had an indifferent weekend, qualifying for the fourth row and finishing 13th. He holds20fourth place in the table, on 40 points, with West in fifth place on 23.

Mike Nicks

By Mike Nicks