Hannes Soomer finished the opening round on P7
"I want to be more in front," said Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing, Yamaha), who finished on P7 in the opening race of the Supersport World Championships in Aragon, Spain today.
After looking for a better solution for the handling and grip of the race bike in free practices yesterday, Soomer finished the Superpole today on P8 and started the race from the third row of the grid.
"The start and the first turns were good," said Soomer, who was on P8 in the first laps. Then, according to him, at least once in fast long curves on each lap, there was a moment which could be compared to understeer in race cars - the front tire was working on the limits of grip, the position of the motorcycle had to be adjusted with the knee.
In the selection of tires for the race, Soomer made a bold choice, using a soft compound on the back like the others, but a harder compound at the front. "Experience has shown that it does not become so squished in the heat and lasts longer, but today the conditions were 10 degrees cooler than yesterday, and the harder mixture probably exacerbated the motorcycle's handling problems," he said.
The race itself was extremely eventful and there were as many as ten crashes in 15 laps. When there were 7 laps to go, Niki Tuuli, who had closed down on the leader Jules Cluzel, collided with the Frenchman in the braking area of Turn 12 with both forced to retire from the race. The race was won for the first time in his career by South African Steven Odendaal (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team). Soomer was 6.121 seconds slower than him.
"I am glad that I finished and that the gap with the winner was not big," said Soomer, while acknowledging that he should be able to turn such a day full of crashes more to his advantage. He hopes to improve the setting of the bike with the team for tomorrow and take a better place.
Race 2 is on Sunday at 13:30 Estonian time. News, results and broadcasts at www.worldsbk.com
Photos Václav Duška Jr.