With the Championship there for the taking, there’s even more dynamics to keep an eye on this weekend…
The 2020 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship heads to the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours with the possibility of the Championship being wrapped up at the French track for the third consecutive season. Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) leads teammate Scott Deroue by 16 points meaning that the Championship can only be done and dusted after Race 2. Mathematically, any of the top nine riders in the Championship can still take the title (besides a side-lined Ana Carrasco), making WorldSSP300 even more hectic than ever.
With three race wins, three other podiums and since Portimao, nothing but top five finishes, Jeffrey Buis has been a sensation in WorldSSP300 this year and has Championship match-point this weekend. The 18-year-old will be hoping that he can continue his strong run of form at a circuit where he took his best result of the 2019 season at with eighth. Can Buis boss his way to the top again?
Teammate Scott Deroue emphasises the MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT team’s work and backs up his teammate at the head of the field. Deroue only has one victory this year at Portimao but five other rostrums keep him in contention. A best result of third from last year, the 24-year-old aims to better that this weekend. A Dutch rider has never won at Magny-Cours in any class of the current WorldSBK paddock; can Buis and Deroue change that this weekend?
Or perhaps, we will see a resurgence from Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300), with the Turkish rider some 47 points behind Buis. Whatever happens, Sofuoglu’s title chances won’t be dashed in Race 1 but he needs to build on his two race wins and one other podium so far. Just 23rd in the race last year, Sofuoglu will surely be further up the order this weekend, but will he be in the title race come the end of Sunday?
60 points back and at risk of being locked out of the title fight after Race 1 on Saturday in France, Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing) needs to be in the battle for victory from the off. Fourth in the standings and supporting Sofuoglu and Yamaha’s charge to the top, Orradre’s form of late has been troubling, with his worst results of the season at Catalunya. 19th in the Magny-Cours race last year, the winner of the first race of 2020 needs a return to the fore.
Lying fifth in the Championship, Ana Carrasco (Provec Kawasaki WorldSSP300) continues her recovery from a testing crash and has now left hospital, although is out for the rest 2020. That means that sixth in the standings, Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) could move up with strong results. He took Great Britain’s first pole and win at Catalunya and looked on course for a double until being wiped out on the last lap of Race 2. A new track for Booth-Amos, 64 points behind the Championship leader is sizeable and his title hopes could go after Race 1.
Elsewhere on the grid, you can’t rule Thomas Brianti (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) for a strong challenge, nor his teammate Mika Perez or Brazilian star Meikon Kawakami (Team Brasil AD78), all seventh, eighth and ninth overall respectively. Completing the top ten in the Championship is Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT), who, after five races without points, took a thrilling first victory at Catalunya in Race 2 in an audacious final corner, last lap pass. With three top eight finishes in the last three races, Okaya’s teammate Koen Meuffels can’t be ruled out either, whilst one place him is Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo), who took his first podium in Race 1 last time out.
Championship Standings after Race 2, Round 6
1. Jeffrey Buis (NED) Kawasaki (158 points)
2. Scott Deroue (NED) Kawasaki (142 points)
3. Bahattin Sofuoglu (TUR) Yamaha (111 points)