Kallio Racing’s Sandro Cortese won the SuperSport World Championship on his debut season. The German gained the title after finishing second in an extremely exciting season final held in Qatar. The championship is also first one for the Finnish team.
The FIM World SuperSport season finale was postponed slightly due to a heavy thunder storm. However, it wasn´t the water on the track that made the race extremely exciting. Sandro Cortese and his biggest rival Jules Cluzel started from the front row knowing that the one who would win the race would also be crowned as the 2018 world champion. The duo passed the pole man Lucas Mahias in the beginning of the race and took turns in the lead having extremely tight fight throughout the whole final.
Three laps before the chequered flag Mahias made his move and lead the race until the end. Cortese and Cluzel kept on changing positions but the conclusion came on the final lap when Cluzel crashed. Cortese crossed the finish line second as a SuperSport World Champion!
Cortese is now the first man to win the Moto3 and WorldSSP titles.
Kallio Racing’s Belgian rider Loris Cresson started from the 19th place of the grid and made his way to 12th. He also achieved 12th place on the world championship standing on his debut season.
I am so happy now. I enjoy this moment so much. I had so tough last year. I want to thank the team that they chose me in January after so difficult winter. They gave me a chance and believed in me. We did the maximum we could this year and we gave everything. I want to thank my family, sponsors and Kallio Racing, the people in the team are so great!
This weekend was quite hard. I think one of the hardest of the season. We struggled quite a lot with the bike settings during the whole weekend. We tried something different for the race, it was a bit better but not that much. Luckily I managed to finish in 12th position and I took four more points and finished also 12th in the championship. All in all, the season was good for me as a rookie rider. We had three top-ten positions. I am happy and I would like to thank my family, my sponsors and for sure Vesa and Mika (Kallio) for this opportunity and the whole team for the hard work. This was a good season so kiitos (thank you in Finnish) to Kallio Racing!
Team leader Vesa Kallio:
This is just awesome! We had a great ending for the great season. I am so proud of the team - we were able to beat everyone else. World championship is something I still don´t really understand. Everything worked so well during the whole weekend. Sandro was extremely strong and confident and it was shown in today´s race. After all the speculations and extremely dangerous weather conditions Sandro managed to keep his head calm and managed with smart way to keep Cluzel behind him. Cluzel had to try to pass him and small mistake made him to crash. Then we knew that championship is ours! It is just brilliant to achieve the title with so great rider!
Qatar race results:
World Championship Standing: