The WorldSSP300 grid makes history this weekend with their first visit outside of Europe coming at the Motul Qatar Round. The feeder class is set to dazzle under the spotlights of the Losail International Circuit, with Thursday’s opening sessions offering a taste of the action to come. Making his debut at the Qatari venue, it was Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) who was once again on top.
The lights of Losail only mean one thing: motorcycle racing is in action! Despite the usual craziness out on circuit, what with riders looking for a slipstream and waiting on the racing line, 2019 WorldSSP300 Champion Manuel Gonzalez thread the eye of the needle to set a good lap time during the middle stages of the session. Second overall was Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300), who used her Moto3™ experience to propel her to the silver-medal position. The outgoing WorldSSP300 Champion was over a second clear in FP1 and will look to gain back the advantage going into the rest of the weekend. Completing the top three was Andy Verdoïa (BCD Yamaha MS Racing), who is still in the battle for second overall in the Championship.
Fourth after the opening day of action was Czech talent, Oliver König (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team), lapping strongly throughout the night to confirm is solid pace at Losail. In fifth place and just fractionally behind him, Dutch rider Dion Otten (MTM Racing Team) made it four nationalities inside the top five, as he worked away on his pace. Otten is looking for a good end to the season to go into 2020 well prepared. Filippo Rovelli (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) completed the top six and was top Italian after day one, 0.712s behind Gonzalez on top.
Battling for second in the Championship, Portimao race winner Scott Deroue (Kawasaki MOTOPORT) was only seventh on his return to action under the floodlights of Losail. He was marginally ahead of fellow countryman Victor Steeman (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team), with the Dutch charge coming from the provision third row. Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) was ninth and was flew the Australian flag high, whilst just behind, Ukrainian Nick Kalinin (Nutec – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) completed the top ten just days after announcing his 2020 plans in the WorldSSP300 class.
#QATWorldSBK WorldSSP300 at Losail International Circuit: Thursday
1. Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) 2’15.438
2. Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) 2’15.650
3. Andy Verdoïa (BCD Yamaha MS Racing) 2’15.696
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