Race 1 for the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours was a thrilling affair as Championship leader Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) went elbow-to-elbow with Tom Booth-Amos (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) including a last-lap battle for the Motul French Round.
Huertas and Booth-Amos both started from the front row and immediately looked to stay in the lead group, which started to fragment as the 13-lap race. Initially at around 11 riders, it soon reduced to six before Huertas looked to have a gap on the field with around five laps to go. Booth-Amos was able to close the gap with two lap record lap times in the final few laps before challenging Huertas on the final lap; Booth-Amos managing to save a slide coming out of the final corner on the final lap but was able to hold on to second place with Huertas claiming the win. Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) claimed a home podium with third place, missing out on second place by just two tenths despite the save from Booth-Amos.
South African rider Dorren Louriero (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) claimed fourth place after a strong performance in Race 1, finishing ahead of Daniel Mogeda (Team#109 Kawasaki) on his return to the Championship as he replaced James McManus at the team. Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing) was in the top six but some four seconds back from Mogeda, while he was almost five seconds clear of Gabriele Mastroluca (ProGP Racing) in seventh.
The sole KTM rider in the field, Victor Steeman (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team), claimed eighth place and another top ten finish in the 2021 campaign while Brazilian Ton Kawakami (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) was ninth in the 13-lap race, with Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing) missing out on ninth place by just one tenth of a second.
ROUNDING OUT THE POINTS
Meikon Kawakami (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) was two seconds away from a top ten finish as he came home in 11th place, while Dutch rider Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki) was 12th . Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) had an eventful race after starting from the middle of the pack, being forced down to 26th place in the early stages before fighting back to finishing in 13th. Ruben Bijman (Machado CAME SBK) was 14th with Dean Berta Viñales (Viñales Racing Team) claiming his first points of the season with 15th despite a double Long Lap Penalty for a jump start.
There was drama in the closing stages of the race at Turn 13 when Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) and Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Yamaha Motoxracing) came together and ended up in the gravel. Buis was able to recover to finish in 25th but Turkish star Sofuoglu was a retirement from the race; both riders had been fighting in the lead group throughout the race.
Hugo de Cancellis (Prodina Team WorldSSP300) was a retirement on Lap 2 of the 13-lap encounter after a technical issue through the Turn 5 Adelaide hairpin. A lap later, Alejandro Carrion (Kawasaki GP Project) and Harry Khouri (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) came together at the same corner with both riders retiring from the race. Johan Gimbert (OUTDO TPR Team Pedercini) retired on Lap 6 after he crashed on his own at Turn 5. Victor Rodriguez Nuñez (Accolade Smrz Racing) was the fifth retirement when he crashed at Turn 3 on Lap 7, forcing the Spanish rider out of the race. Yeray Ruiz (Yamaha MS Racing) suffered from technical problems at Turn 5 which forced the Spanish rider out of the race, as well as Petr Svoboda (WRP Wepol Racing). Adrien Quinet (Machado CAME SBK) also retired.
On Lap 11 of 13, Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki) retired from the race after a crash at Turn 7, an incident that meant teammate Meuffels had to take a trip through the gravel. Yeray Saiz Marquez (Viñales Racing Team) retired with a technical problem in the closing stages of the race while wildcard Alexy Negrier (Alexy Moto Racing) crashed at Turn 6 right at the very end of the race.
P1 Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki)
“It was a difficult race as I was waiting for a different type of race. Finally, I managed to make a gap. I don’t know what happened, but they caught me, and I managed to win, so I’m really happy. I want to keep working for tomorrow because we can do really well again.”
P2 Tom Booth-Amos (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM Kawasaki)
“Another difficult race. It always is in this category so I’m happy to come away with second place. It wasn’t easy and I thought I timed it right for the last lap, but we had a slight mechanical problem which stopped me getting the win. I’m a little bit disappointed but we’ll try again tomorrow.”
P3 Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo)
“Third, again! I’m getting a bit tired of this position on the podium! I’m really happy. The race was very difficult. I think I had the pace to follow Huertas and go with him, but the pack is always so difficult to manage. I’ve struggled a little bit to get out of it. Here at home, with all the fans, I can only say thank you to all the people that are here and support me. We’re going for the first French win tomorrow here at home!”
WorldSSP300 Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours – Race 1
1. Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki)
2. Tom Booth-Amos (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) +0.588s
3. Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) +0.810s
4. Dorren Loureiro (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) +3.564s
5. Daniel Mogeda (Team#109 Kawasaki) +3.711s
6. Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing) +8.307s.
Championship Standings (after Race 1, Round 8)
1. Adrian Huertas (ESP) Yamaha (154 points)
2. Tom Booth-Amos (GBR) Kawasaki (138 points)
3. Samuel Di Sora (FRA) Kawasaki (93 points)
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of Dorna WSBK Organization Srl