Krummenacher tightens title battle with heroic comeback

Tuesday, 24 April 2018 12:31 GMT

Fighting back from 27th to 2nd, the Swiss rider closes the gap with leader Mahias to just one point

It was one of those performances, the kind that becomes ingrained in your memory for years to come. The kind that can make or break a season. Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) passed every rider on track at the FIM Supersport World Championship race at Assen – bar race-winner Jules Cluzel (NRT) – and turned what could have been another unfortunate weekend into a championship revival.

It really could have been very different. Krummenacher had qualified in sixth place in Saturday’s Superpole 2, behind his title rivals but close enough. But something went wrong just ten minutes before the race was due to begin – the Swiss went back to the pits to fix a technical problem in his bike, and was thus forced to start from the back of the grid.

“It was a very hard moment, I had never experienced this in my career”, says Krummenacher. “I was full of emotions, angry, all together, but I just said: “OK, just start and go every lap like it’s the last””.

Then started the rally: from 27th to 18th after Lap 1, 12th after Lap 2, and by Lap 5 he was 7th and in shooting distance of the front group. The final laps were hectic, with a double pass of the battling GRT Yamaha riders, a tough back-and-forward with Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing), and a clean overtaking manoeuvre over Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) before setting up a final lap showdown with Cluzel.

Krummenacher came just short of taking the lead, but defended his merited second position right to the line. “It was a difficult race, but at the end I can be really happy with the second place”, he comments. “From last on the grid to second, and at the end I even saw the possibility to win. The bike went really well. I just tried to focus to take the maximum out of it every lap, and yeah that went really well. At the end I’m happy, also for the championship, everything is open and it’s a fantastic day at the end”.

“It was difficult, the last five laps, because I wasn’t really prepared to fight for the win”, he continues. “I used my tyres, I used everything we had to arrive there, so it was not easy. That’s why I say second place is really great and I have to be thankful for that”.

Krummenacher now sits just one point off of defending champion Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team), overtaking Cortese who he now leads by 6 points.

Relive the epic last lap of the Dutch Assen Round, and don’t miss out on any of the post-race reactions, thanks to the WorldSBK VideoPass.