This weekend the circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya hosted the first ever WorldSBK Championship race in history with an action-packed and rain-hit weekend and yet another double header for the World Supersport class. Saturday’s qualifying did not go to plan for the young South African as he had to fight his way up from 11th on the grid in both races. In the first race on Saturday, Odendaal had a superb start and moved up to seventh position quickly before the first drops of rain brought out the rain flag in sector one. It only took a few moments before a heavy downpour forced a red flag. With 2/3 of the race distance completed, Odendaal was classified 6th, securing 10 world championship positions. The sun returned to the Catalan circuit on Sunday for race 2 and Odendaal had yet another fantastic start. Unfortunately, due to a technical problem on the opening laps, the EAB Ten Kate rider lost many positions before climbing his way back up to a fifth position, setting one of the quickest laps of the race.
Steven Odendaal (Race 1 – 6th/ Race 2 – 5th): “Saturday’s race was eventful! I have never done a flag-to-flag race before and when I saw the rain coming, I was not sure whether to pit in yet. I decided to do one more lap but the rain arrived so quickly and was so heavy I don’t understand how I managed to stay on with slick tyres and keep my position as well. When I eventually got into the box to change my tyres, the race was red flagged for safety reasons. We were classified sixth, based on the previous lap before the red flag. On Sunday, we had a technical problem in warm-up and did not have enough time to see if we resolved it or not before the race. I had another great start but unfortunately the problem was still there during the first few laps. I thought I would have to retire but slowly it started getting better and after 5 laps or so I was able to get into a good pace to start recovering positions I lost as a result. I was one of the only three riders who got into the 1:45s during the race which shows that we had the pace to fight for the podium today but unfortunately, we lost too much time at the beginning to catch the guys in front. I am happy with a Top-5 today because we were not far off and we made a step forward with the team. We just need to keep this momentum and we will be on the podium soon.”