One goes to Spain for the nicest tans and to see the best bullfights, but this weekend the proud Catalans are hosting another wonderful event - the 8th round of World Championship in motorbike racing. Even if the sky was overcast then weather conditions for racing were nearly perfect with track temperatures at +31 C and air above it 9 degrees cooler.
First race of Class SSP turned out to be shorter than usual since it was interrupted with a red flag on the opening lap - Peter Sebestyen (Yamaha) crashed and fuel that leaked from his bike had to be mopped up by the track crew. That took some time and therefore instead of the usual 18 only 12 laps were raced after the second start. Dominique Aegerter (Yamaha) - leader of the series - won after taking the lead on the 5th lap and finished more than 4 seconds ahead of Lorenzo Baldassari (Yamaha) and Can Oncu (Kawasaki)
Dynavolt Triumph riders started their race from rows 6 and 8 - Stefano Manzi P17 and Hannes Soomer five positions behind him. Although both had a fine start the rest of the race was not equally good - Stefano Manzi had to retire due to a faulty gearbox when he was ninth, Hannes Soomer did not fare much better, losing positions little by little after the first three laps. He finished 18th.
“We slipped up with tyre pressure in the second start,” said Hannes after the race. “I had three good laps after the second start; then tyre pressure went through the roof and the rest of the race I had to constantly finesse the bike. After the initial laps the engine felt like it had 300hp since the back tyre had no grip at all, not in any gear. It felt a bit like skating on ice. We have good bikes and good riders and we could be quite fast here on Sunday unless we shoot ourselves in the foot because of a new variable”.