Race Win And Championship Lead For Deroue2020-08-10 02:26
Like the opening round in Jerez last weekend the Portimao event was blessed with sunshine and a dry track surface, but unlike the furnace-like atmosphere in Spain the temperatures were merely hot in Portugal, as was the race action from the very start.
In the first race, planned for ten laps but shortened to six by a red flag, four Kawasaki riders blanketed the podium and beyond, with Carrasco winning her first race of the season by just 0.057 seconds. A first podium of his career for Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki Motoport) saw him finish second in the opener, the only rider able to stick with the pace of 2018 champion Carrasco.
New rider in this championship for 2020, Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM–Kawasaki), continued his strong introduction to the class by finishing third – just 0.006 seconds ahead of fourth-placed Deroue in race one.
Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo Kawasaki) was sixth (after setting the best lap) and Mika Perez (Prodina Ircos Team Kawasaki) seventh. Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki Motoport) was ninth. The top ten rundown was completed by Thomas Brianti (Prodina Ircos Team Kawasaki).
Using their slick tyres to the max once again, and for only the second round in WorldSSP history, the riders in the second race lined up to finish off a spectacular weekend of action.
Again, the race did not go the scheduled distance and was red flagged close to the climax when Carrasco, Booth-Amos and Meikon Kawakami clashed and fell. None of the riders involved were able to get back the pits within the allotted five minutes and were thus not classified as finishers in race two, scoring no points.
The race result was awarded after nine laps, with Deroue the Sunday winner. With his two team-mates Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki Motoport) and Buis third and fourth respectively, it was another strong ride for the Ninja 400 riders at the sharp end.
Kawasaki riders filled the positions from sixth to tenth, with Perez sixth, Aussie rider Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) seventh, Brianti eighth, Meuffels ninth and Di Sora tenth.
In the championship standings, perennial competitor Deroue leads with 67 points after four races. Bahattin Sofuoglu is second, Unai Orradre is third, Carrasco is fourth with 54 points, Booth-Amos has 52 in fifth and Buis is now into the top six after two strong Portuguese showings, with 36 points.
Motorland Aragon is the next stop for the rolling circus that is WorldSSP300, between 28 and 30 August 2020.
Scott Deroue (MTM Kawasaki Motoport), stated: “We were very strong all weekend from the first practice session. In the first race the leading group fell apart and I just missed the podium. It wasn't easy at the start of the second race. I had to catch up, but then I was able to close the gap to Ana. In the last lap I pushed for the win and was in the lead when the red flag came. I’m very happy with this victory and with the first place in the championship. I want to thank my team, Kawasaki and all the sponsors.”
Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec), stated: “It’s a shame because I was having a good race, I had nearly all the laps under control but at two from the end, with all the tailgating, I dropped many positions. On the last lap I tried to recover and tried to avoid the knocks - until they hit me. The truth is that it’s no good because although I wouldn’t have made the podium, I would have clocked up some valuable points for the championship. But what’s important is that I’m fine after the fall and we’ll see what happens in the next race.”
Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki Motoport), stated: “P2 and P4 this weekend, what a great result. The team has worked very hard. On Friday we didn't have the speed yet, but from Saturday we were on pace. In the first race I was able to ride away together with Ana. It was my first WorldSSP300 podium; that felt very special. The second race was a bit harder, but I'm also very satisfied with fourth place. On to Aragon.”
Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM–Kawasaki), stated: “Qualifying didn’t really go to planned and I think in the future it is better to work on my own. Here it was a little bit difficult because I have not been here before and obviously it is not the easiest circuit to learn. My ideal times were a lot quicker than the qualifying lap I did. My qualifying position of 13th made my life a bit harder. In race one I went back a bit and then pushed forward and got a podium for third.”
Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki Motoport), stated: “I’m very proud to be the first Japanese rider on the WorldSSP300 podium. Saturday was also great when I took pole position. Unfortunately I crashed early in the first race. The second race I had to leave a gap, but I fought hard to get back. This third place is very special and I want to thank my team for that.”
Source: Kawasaki Racing Team
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