Smith wins night fight in Losail
British rider Kyle Smith (PATA Honda World Supersport Team) won what was at one stage a four-way fight for the race victory in the FIM Supersport World Championship race at Losail, his first win at this level.
Smith worked his way through to the lead with some audacious passes, hitting the front with seven laps left and then gapping second place finisher Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) enough on the final laps to keep an advantage of 0.971 seconds at the flag, after 15-laps of full commitment. A close third was Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), after a late attack on Sofuoglu was only just fought off across the line.
Sofuoglu had taken the holeshot and the lead but came under pressure and was eventually passed by Zanetti, but only temporarily.
With three laps to go Smith still had Sofuoglu for close company, with Zanetti third and Lucas Mahias (MG Competition Yamaha) dropped of the back of the lead group, to finish an eventual fourth.
Sofuoglu had his first chance to pass Smith with two laps to go, but overcooked it, regrouping with Zanetti even closer behind.
Smith, performing outrageous backing-in manoeuvres, had enough gap left at the end to take his first career WSS race win.
In finishing second Sofuoglu ensured Kawasaki would take the Manufacturers’ Championship in the WSS class.
Championship second place finisher Patrick Jacobsen (Core” Motorsport Thailand Honda) was fifth, getting the better of Nico Terol (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) after the Honda rider had dropped back from his involvement for the potential win at a circuit that is far from his favourite.
Roberto Rolfo (Team Lorini Honda) placed seventh, Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25 MV Agusta) eighth, rookie rider Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) ninth and Fabio Menghi (VFT Racing Yamaha) was tenth.
Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) crashed and retired, with Aiden Wagner (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) also a non-finisher for technical reasons. Glenn Scott (AARK Racing Honda) was unable to make the start after a big crash earlier the weekend had caused some technical issues and a decision was made by the team and rider not to compete on raceday.