Today, Hannes Soomer (Kallio Racing, Yamaha) fought for the podium in the World SSP race 2 in Aragon, Spain, but had to settle for P4.
Today's race was held in cool and rainy conditions and, as Soomer said, all three tire selections were on the table just before the start. However, the team chose medium tires both front and rear, and the race proved that the choice was the right one.
After the start, the Swede Christoffer Bergman took the lead, who was one of the few to use rain tires, but in the second half of the race all the fast competitors who used medium tires, including Soomer, passed him.
"At first I was careful, I was looking for places where I could be quick and I tried to avoid mistakes," said Soomer, who made a good start and also escaped the crash that took out Philipp Öttl and Federico Caricasulo from the competition, but then continued on P8.
"In the middle of the race, when the feeling was already good, I started to take advantage of these places," added Soomer, who rose to P5 and in the last three laps clocked a couple of fastest lap times, rising temporarily to P3.
In the last laps, Steven Odendaal, Raffaele De Rosa, Jules Cluzel and Soomer fought for first place in a furious battle, with less than four-tenths of a second separating the four riders. De Rosa led the race in the final lap, but lost to Odendaal in the final corner and had to settle for second place, Cluzel, who started from the back of the grid, rose to third and kept Soomer 0.055 seconds away at the chequered flag.
"The overtaking was extremely difficult today, I could not get out of the slipstream of the rider in front," commented Soomer. "It's a bit disappointing that I didn't get on the podium, but today we as a team did everything we could to prepare for this race, right."
The next round of the World Championship will take place next weekend on the Estoril circuit in Portugal. News, results and broadcasts at www.worldsbk.com
Photos WSBK and Václav Duška Jr.