The Pirelli French Round saw a special moment in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship as Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) claimed her second victory of the season, while also handing over her crown to Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) who clinched the 2019 title with second place, succeeding Carrasco as world champion.
Chasing the victory he needed to keep his title hopes alive, Scott Deroue (Kawasaki MOTOPORT) made the perfect start to lead the opening lap although several riders were eyeing up the all-important slipstream which makes such a difference in WorldSSP300. Gonzalez was faced with a tricky task of picking his way through the traffic but the 17-year-old made steady progress, climbing to fourth by the end of Lap 2.
Gonzalez hit the front for the first time on Lap 4, drafting past Carrasco on the run towards the Adelaide hairpin, but with no-one able to escape the group, the championship leader soon slipped back into the pack. A leading group of four was soon established at the front though with Carrasco, Gonzalez and Deroue joined by Andy Verdoia (BCD Yamaha MS Racing) while Galang Hendra Pratama (Semakin Di Depan Biblion Motoxracing) fell back after a brief spell out front.
Mindful that third place would guarantee the championship even if Scott Deroue won, Manuel Gonzalez will have been happy to see such a small leading group and rode a mature race, keeping his title rivals in sight at all times. Deroue wasn’t giving it up without a fight though and set a New Record on the penultimate lap as he desperately tried to improve on fourth. The fight for the win was settled in Carrasco’s favour though courtesy of a last lap move on Verdoia at the 180 corner, while Gonzalez made sure of the title by outbraking the French rider, Deroue into Turn 15 to snatch second.
As a result, Gonzalez becomes the youngest ever world champion in motorcycle road racing history, and follows in the footsteps of Carrasco and Marc Garcia (DS Junior Team) as the third WorldSSP300 champion, each hailing from Spain. Gonzalez also sets a new points record for a single season in the class with today’s result, and has the opportunity to add to that tally at the final round of the season at Losail in October.
Scott Deroue took the final podium position, and now goes to Qatar level on points with Carrasco in the battle to finish championship runner-up, while Andy Verdoia maintains an outside chance after finishing fourth. Galang Hendra Pratama finished a lonely fifth in the end while Livio Loi (2R Racing Team), winner of yesterday’s Last Chance Race, stormed through the field from 29th on the grid to take sixth.
Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) matched his best result of the season in seventh, the sixth different nationalities within that top seven, with Jeffrey Buis (MTM Racing Team) also claiming his best result of 2019 in eighth. Victor Steeman (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team) was ninth, continuing his consistent campaign while Nick Kalinin (Nutec – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) kept up his strong recent form by rounding out the top ten.
P1 – Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300)
1. Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300)
2. Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) +0.233
3. Scott Deroue (Kawasaki MOTOPORT) +0.430
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of WorldSBK.com