This weekend, the FIM Supersport World Championship carousel will be hosted by a country with more motorized two-wheelers than we have sand by the sea. In other words, it is Indonesia, where everything related to bikes is more important than the rest of the entertainment, and although the locals are VERY friendly, the competitors are at risk of being torn to pieces because everyone would like to take at least one souvenir from them. According to Hannes Soomer (Yamaha, Kallio Racing), the commotion is best characterized by the fact that all activities take place as if in the first cartoon of "Cars". "Due to the virus, in Europe, you occasionally feel that you are riding alone and do it for yourself, but here the whole island stops during the race so that people can enjoy the whole show for full money."
And although the World Championship carousel reached the Pertamina Mandalika circuit during the rainy season when the water should be coming down from all directions, the weather has remained dry and the rain only got to shuffle the cards during Saturday's race. "It suited us because Friday was ruined for us," admitted Soomer after the first race. "Yesterday we played too long with hard tires and also lost time due to a small mistake, which also affected the choice of tires. That's why I only got to the track with soft tires today, and since the grip was so much better and the lap time improved by two seconds, I had to start learning the track from scratch in the qualification, so there was no time left to put together a quick lap.” Soomer had to settle for P12 in the Superpole.
Saturday's race was much more fun, because the starting rain seemed to favor Soomer. "We made some changes to the front of the bike for the race, which worked and I felt confident on the bike. The start was sluggish - a brave ascent to the rear wheel and light touches with fellow competitors - but from the second lap I could start catching the group and the leader was only three seconds away. Everything seemed to be achievable because I was faster than them on a wet track, but then the track started to dry again and it no longer suited my bike settings. The rear tire overheated and probably due to the work not done on Friday, I had to settle for P9 today."
Which doesn't mean that he has already given up. "I believe we know what to do on the rear of the bike and then everything is possible. There is a cool track here with a very good atmosphere and today showed that the speed is there because I was faster than the leaders on the wet track.”