Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup:
Ercolani and Mahendra make it happen in Italy with a victory each
Thrilling weekend for the Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup. Italy’s Emiliano Ercolani took a spectacular victory in Race 1 on home race at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, while Aldi Satya Mahendra took a first ever win for Indonesia in the R3 bLU cRU European Championship in a thrilling Race 2.
Race 1 saw Mahendra take the holeshot, leading the field of 21 riders into the first corners of the Italian circuit. Before the race could settle into a rhythm there was a dramatic crash between Mert Konuk, Christian Stringhetti and Apostolos Kamzelis. All three riders emerged uninjured but Konuk would have to serve a double long lap penalty in Race 2 for his part in the incident. After this the riders broke into two groups, but the action remained intense. Mahendra and Ercolani swopped places countless times, but they also had to watch out for the advances of Krittapat Keankum, pole-sitter Kevin Fontainha and Marc Vich. With the home crowd on his side, Ercolani displayed his usual impressive determination to keep returning to the head of the pack. The Italian finished victorious in front of his adoring fan club, increasing his title lead in the process. Keankum took second, and Mahendra third.
Saturday afternoon brought scorching track temperatures, providing perfect grip for the 10-lap dash of Race 2. Mahendra shot to the front once again, but he found himself heading an enormous lead group of 12 riders for the entire race. More than five riders had a go at hitting the front as the freight train spread across the track. Brazil’s Gustavo Manzo was ready to take the fight to Mahendra, but the huge battle culminated in the Indonesian holding firm and becoming the first rider from his country to win in R3, following in the footsteps of his brother, Galang Hendra Pratama who is a double winner in the WorldSSP300 class. Vich, fresh from his experience at the Master Camp displayed impressive skills to finish second, while Ercolani got a solid third. Brazilian star Eduardo Burr was unlucky to suffer a mechanical issue which ruled him out of contention in the second race. Greek wildcard rider Kamzelis unfortunately crashed out of both races.