Action all the way through the race was the story of the day in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship as the World Championship was decided in Race 1 of the Pirelli Estoril Round at the Circuito Estoril as Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) took the Riders’ Championship as he finished in sixth place as Mika Perez (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) won the race.
There was drama from the start as Alfonso Coppola (Kawasaki GP Project), Hugo de Cancellis (Team TRASIMENO) and Thomas Brianti (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300) all crashed out in the same incident while Filippo Rovelli (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) pulled up with mechanical issues on the opening lap. De Cancellis was taken to the medical centre for a check-up following the incident and later declared unfit with a facial trauma, a deep wound to his third finger on the left hand and a right thigh contusion.
A four-way battle for the lead broke out as Perez claimed the victory by just 0.013s ahead of Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) and Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) in third; Booth-Amos just 0.055s away from taking another win in the 2020 season. Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) finished in fourth place as part of that battle, two tenths back from Booth-Amos. Perez’s winning margin of 0.013s was the second-closest victory of all time in WorldSSP300, and it was the third-closest podium finish of all-time.
Victor Rodriguez Nuñez (EAB Ten Kate Racing) finished in fourth place as he held off a five-way battle for fifth place including the two Championship contenders, with Buis finishing in sixth place and Samuel di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) in seventh; Scott Deroue (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT), who had looked like taking the Championship battle to the final race, finished in eighth. Buis finishing ahead of Deroue meant the teenager claimed his first World Championship and became the first non-Spanish Champion in WorldSSP300. Buis beat Deroue on a race to the line with the smallest margin separating the two teammates.
Meikon Kawakami (Team Brasil AD 78) finished just two tenths away from Rodriguez Nuñez but was down in ninth place, half a second away from his brother, Ton Kawakami (Yamaha MS Racing), who rounded out the top ten. Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) finished in 11th place, ahead of Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT).
Marc Garcia (2R Racing) finished in 13th place ahead of ahead of Turkish star Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSSP300) in 14th and Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Machado Came SBK) completing the points-paying positions; fellow Spanish rider Adrian Huertas (ProGP Racing) missing out on points by less than half a tenth of a second.
Tom Bramich (Carl Cox-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) and Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) did not finish the race after suffering issues throughout the 10-lap contest, while Petr Svoboda (WRP Wepol Racing) crashed on Lap 6 of the race which forced him out of the battle.
Unai Orradre (Yamaha MS Racing) and polesitter Nick Kalinin (Battley-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) racing collided at the chicane in the latter stages of the race but both were able to get up of their own accord following the incident, although both were forced to retire. Alejandro Carrion (ACCR Smrz Racing by Blue Garage) retired from the race following his trip through the gravel at Turn 1.
P1 Mika Perez (Prodina Ircos Team WorldSSP300)
“This is an unbelievable feeling after one and a half years struggling a lot where I had really bad luck. I am back on the podium and also winning is very nice. The team did an incredible job and I am so happy. Tomorrow we have to go for another win!”
P2 Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT)
“I’m really happy with this podium especially after the bad luck we had during the last races. It was a tough race but a fair fight but now I am focussed on tomorrow to end the season strongly.”
P3 Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki)
“It was not an easy race. Starting from ninth, it’s always going to be difficult. I would be lying if I said I’m not disappointed to win it. I felt like I had the race under control, but I made a little mistake at the chicane on the last lap and I guess the guys behind me had enough to slipstream me to the line. I’m a little bit disappointed but we’ve got some things to work on to fix for tomorrow. Happy to be back on the podium after a while.”
#EstorilWorldSBK WorldSSP300 at Circuito Estoril – Race 1
2.) Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) +0.013s
3.) Tom Booth-Amos (RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) +0.055s
4.) Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) +0.234s
5.) Victor Rodriguez Nuñez (EAB Ten Kate Racing) +5.764s
6.) Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki MOTOPORT) +5.782s.
2. Scott Deroue (NED) Kawasaki (183 points)
3. Bahattin Sofuoglu (TUR) Yamaha (129 points)
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of WorldSBK.com