European Supersport Cup battle heats up in Portugal

Thursday, 6 September 2018 15:02 GMT

Hartog vs Lahti in the final two rounds

With only two rounds of the European Supersport Cup remaining for 2018, there are two opportunities to shine and take the ESS crown. Battling alongside the FIM Supersport World Championship, riders are able to show their skills and talents on the competitive world stage.

Four riders have scored points in the Cup so far in 2018, but it has been Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer) who has led the battle from the opening round of the season at MotorLand Aragon. Failing to score points in just round – Donington Park – the Dutch rider has put in some strong results on his Kawasaki ZX-6R, impressing the field. Taking a top eight finish in his home round at TT Circuit Assen, he was able to take a firm grasp on the Cup lead and Imola offered an 11th position finish. But it as from there his consistent pace declined, and the Dutch rider was unable to score points in the United Kingdom at Donington Park.

With Finnish rider Emeli Lahti (Sterkman Motorsport by HRP) hot on his tails, the cup fight was back on in the Czech Republic as Lahti crossed the line as top ESS rider for the second race in a row. In the humid conditions at Brno, Lahti took home seven points with ninth position, and Hartog again just five points. But, luck returned to Hartog’s favour in Italy as despite only taking three points with his Kawasaki, Lahti was unable to finish the race.

Heading into the summer break with a comfortable points buffer, Hartog now has a lead of 16 points with two rounds remaining. Battling not only amongst the fellow ESS riders, the 2018 season has offered the riders opportunities to shine as they battle some of the best on the world stage and take home credible points scoring finishes. With the Cup win on the line, who knows what battles we will see in Portugal and France.

Keep up with all the battles from the Nolan Portuguese Round from 14th – 16th September, all with the WorldSBK VideoPass.