Dramatic WorldSSP300 race after titanic lead battle following crash for polesitter Yuta Okaya at Portimao.
FIM Supersport 300 World Championship race action returned in sensational fashion at the Motul Portuguese Round with a titanic battle for the race win between 2018 Champion Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec Racing) and Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, in a race that was shortened following a crash on the start-finish straight.
Carrasco and Buis took advantage of polesitter Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasako MOTOPORT) crashing in the early stages of the race at Turn 5 to make a break on the rest of the field. It meant Carrasco and Buis were able to pull a gap on the field, leaving them around two seconds clear as it became a two-way battle for victory. Carrasco held on for victory to claim the Championship lead ahead of Buis. Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM Racing) completed the podium after he battled his way through the field from the fifth row of the grid.
Scott Deroue (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) missed out on the podium by just 0.006s from when the results were taken at the last completed timing point; the crash on the start and finish straight causing the red flag following Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) coming off his bike but his machine continuing down the track. Ieraci was able to get up of his own accord following the incident. Bahattin Sofuglu (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300) finished in fifth while Samuel di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) completed the top six.
Mika Perez (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) finished in seventh place despite running in the lead group during the early part of the race, a mistake meaning the Spanish rider fell back. He was able to battle his way back to seventh place, 0.024s ahead of Meikon Kawakami (Team Brasil AD 78) who finished in eighth and Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) in ninth. Thomas Brianti (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) completed the top 10; with just five seconds separating the top 10.
Ton Kawakami (Yamaha MS Racing) finished the shortened race in 11th place with Ukrainian rider Nick Kalinin (Battley-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) finishing in 12th place. Glenn van Straalen (EAB Ten Kate Racing), Alejandro Carrion (Smrz Racing – Willi Race) and Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) completed the points.
It was a race of attrition with a number of retirements throughout. There was a Lap 1 crash between Tomas Alonso (Team Tomas Alonso), Hugo de Cancellis (Team TRASIMENO) and Tom Bercot (ProGP Racing), while Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) also had an issue in the early stages of the race. Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing) and Oliver König (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team) collided on Lap 2 while Okaya went down on Lap 4 of the race.
P1 Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec Racing)
“I’m really happy. The race was really difficult because it was very windy. We could not match the lap times we did in Free Practice, but I tried to push from the beginning. I thought I had some more pace than the others. The race was quite easy because from the first lap, I have a gap. I think we did a really good job throughout the weekend and now it’s important to focus on tomorrow’s race. I think we have to improve a little bit but we will be there so it’s going to be good to try to fight for the victory again.”
P2 Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT)
“It was a difficult race at the beginning. I tried to follow Ana and it was okay, we made a little gap. It was a red flag that ended the race but it was a good race for me and I want to say thanks to my team and my family. Let’s go to the next race.”
P3 Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki)
“I didn’t really expect the podium so I’m pretty happy. The front two guys were on another level today. I’m happy with the result today despite making it hard for myself coming back from 13th today. It’s also a new circuit for me and it’s a little it difficult, I’ve not been here and it’s not the easiest place to learn. I’m happy to come away with third and keep aiming for the Championship as that’s the goal at the end of the year. Thanks to my team for putting a good bike out as always and Kawasaki.”
#PRTWorldSBK WorldSSP300 at Autódromo Internacional do Algarve – Race 1
1. Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec Racing)
2. Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) +0.057
3. Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) +4.123
4. Scott Deroue (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) +4.129
5. Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300 +4.394
6. Samuel di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) +4.408
Championship Standings after Race 1, Round 3
2. Tom Booth-Amos (GBR) Kawasaki (52 points)
3. Bahattin Sofuoglu (TUR) Yamaha (46 points)