After an intense and successful Superpole for Öttl and Mahias they were to have contrasting fortunes as the race developed. Philipp had been second off the startline; Lucas third.
Philipp was in third place in the early stages until Lucas and Isaac Vinales passed him, only for the pair to clash and run off the track, losing valuable time to what had become two leading riders in the shape of eventual winner Andrea Locatelli and second placed Jules Cluzel.
Phillip was able to capitalise and retook third place, marching his pace on to try and get into contention with the leading duo. He realised the gap was too far to bridge and scored his second podium of his rookie WorldSBK season.
Mahias was eventually caught and passed by another rider and finished fifth, scoring valuable points but with ambitions for more in Sunday’s race two – and also the next race weekend at Aragon in a few days’ time.
Philipp Öttl, stated: “The team did a great job because we struggled a little bit yesterday with the front feeling but it was also a lot hotter then. Right away from this morning we had a strong pace and in qualifying we also did a good job. I was happy that I could end up on the podium in the race. I saw that Lucas and Vinales had a bit moment in turn one and then I saw a gap develop. I though ‘Ok, now I have to push a lot to maybe make my own gap, and even try to get to the front.’ Then I saw Locatelli pass Cluzel and normally this is the move for the race win. I tried to catch up with Cluzel but at this level it is hard to make up that much ground, so I am happy with the race and the work of the team.”
Lucas Mahias, stated: “Again a difficult race and I do not know why we lost the group in the fight with Vinales. After that it was not possible to come back, but this is the new Supersport racing. Riders pushing on the limit in the beginning and then you lose the group because everybody is trying to overtake rapidly. Pushing so hard so early is just stupid. But, now we have three more races on this track and we will continue our work tomorrow.”
2020 rookie rider Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) was an improving eighth today, having qualified 16th in Superpole. Can Öncü (Turkish Puccetti Racing) was 13th in the race having run off track at one stage. He had been tenth on the grid.