Ayrton Badovini took a hard fought win in the rain-delayed World Supersport race at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit today. The former World Superstock 1000 champion just held off local hero Zulfahmi Khairuddin, crossing the line just 0.05 seconds in front after a race-long duel. Gino Rea took the final podium position.

Ayrton Badovini leads Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Gino Rea

Image courtesy of WorldSBK

In a race postponed until after the World Superbike race due to weather conditions at a rainy Sepang, it was British rider Gino Rea who got the best start, rocketing away into the lead in front of reigning Champion Kenan Sofuoglu. The Turk’s teammate Randy Krummenacher lost ground in the first lap to cross the line tenth after the opening lap, with local hero Zulfahmi Khairuddin making up places from fifth on the grid to duel with Sofuoglu and close down on then race leader Gino Rea.

The new asphalt at Sepang, especially designed to help with the local climate, was drying out as home hero Khairuddin leapt through into the lead at the final corner of the third lap to head a World Supersport race for the first time. The race at the head of the field split into two groups of three with Khairuddin, Badovini and Rea fighting for the podium positions and Sofuoglu, PJ Jacobsen and Kyle Smith battling it out for the minor positions.

Badovini and Khairuddin swapped positions a number of times in the final laps but it all came down to the last corner. Khairuddin got through on Badovini but the Italian held his nerve and cut back under the Malaysian to take the narrowest of wins with Rea not far behind.

Jacobsen got another good haul of points in fourth, getting to the front of the second bunch on the road. Smith also made his way past Sofuoglu last on to take fifth, leaving the defending champion in sixth.

MV Agusta Reparto Corse title hopeful Jules Cluzel was the only rider in the field to run an intermediate rear tyre – all the rest ran full wets – and, while he battled in the early stages, moved up the field as the track dried. He crossed the line in seventh ahead of Randy Krummenacher. Alex Baldolini had a solid ride to finish in ninth with fellow Italian Federico Caricasulo in tenth..

The World Supersport riders will be back on track at Donington Park in two weeks time for Round 7 of the 2016 Championship.