Kallio Racing Sandro Cortese hits podium on the first Supersport race of the season

Race report 25.2.2018

Supersport Championship season was kicked off on Sunday on the Phillip Island track in Australia. The race was retired due to a crash with red flags waving on the early laps of the race. In the restart Kallio Racing rider Sandro Cortese managed to climb on the podium with a daring overtake in the last corner of the race.

The conditions for qualification on Saturday was far from perfect with ominous grey clouds and winds setting up a challenge for pursuing the front line. Cortese qualified on fourth positions and the young Belgian Kallio Racing team rider Loris Cresson started the race from the 14th position. A three grid penalty for dangerous riding was a setback for Cortese.

The race on Sunday was full of drama to begin with red flags and a restart. Cortese took a bad start and dropped several positions. Cresson on the other hand took an awesome start and hit the first corner as fifth. 
Moto3 Champion didn’t settle for his destiny but started a furious spurt for the top. Before the last corner, Cortese was already fourth and with an overtake Cortese crossed the finish line third. 
- I am very happy for my first Supesport race and coming immediately on the podium. It was a great week, we had a good test and solid qualifying, of course unlucky with the penalty yesterday. Two times disaster starts today. I have to practice on that! But overall it was a perfect race. Very happy to have such a good speed and to win lap record also. I am enjoying every lap at the moment; the bike and the team. I’m really enjoying being in Kallio Racing team, they are good people. It’s good to find my strong moments again. I have had difficult moments and a hard past season but I feel great again, relaxed and strong. I can’t wait for Thailand!

19-year-old Cresson did a fine job all the way until the very end of the race. A small downshifting miss dropped him down ten postitions. Cresson finished as 12th. Nevertheless the young Belgian was happy with his result.
- Today race was pretty good. Normally we should do a flag to flag race but after two laps in the first race we get a red flag. For the second restart I took a really good jump off the grid. I turned into the first corner in 5th position. On the fifth lap in 8th position I made a mistake in the downshifting and it took me back to the 18th position with four laps remaining. After this I was able to fight back and finish 12th. I’m really happy with the start of the season and the work of the team. I feel confident for Thailand and for the rest of the season. Kiitos to everybody in the team and congratulations to Sandro for his podium!

The team manager Vesa Kallio was proud for his team riders performances. 
- What an exciting race! Podium was decided on the last corner and with a fine overtake from Cortese just before the finishing line. Was great to see that the hard work with the engines and the bike development hasn’t gone to waste. Overall a good weekend. Podium and first points of the season for Loris on his first visit to Phillip Island. Thank you for the whole team for a great job, it good to continue the momentum in Thailand. 

The next Supersport race will be driven in Thailand on Buriram track on 23rd-25th of March.

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Photos: Robert Murdoch

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