Grunwald: "I took advantage of the chaos"

Wednesday, 25 April 2018 13:51 GMT

KTM rider takes his first win after only two races in WorldSSP300

He’s only been here for two weeks, but Luca Grunwald (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team) can already say he’s a FIM Supersport 300 World Championship race winner. In week 1, at MotorLand Aragon, Grunwald was off the pace and couldn’t fight for higher than ninth place, but at the MOTUL Dutch Round the German had learnt his lesson. Part of the 10-man leading group for the entire race, Grunwald didn’t lead a single of the 11 first laps, but when push came to shove it was him crossing the checkered flag first.

“It’s great, it’s been a very tough race, a lot of chaos, a lot of fighting and overtaking, but to get home with a win is really, really cool”, says Grunwald, who kept his cool throughout the weekend. “It was very close in practice, and the class is set up to be like this, there’s not so much power but the bikes are really equal right now, it makes for racing like this. It’s really cool to see I guess, it’s very stressful when you’re on the bike but it’s a lot of fun as well”.

Not many motorsport championships can boast this many riders vying for a win each weekend. For Grunwald, it’s a challenging, yet rewarding experience: “You try to prepare, but in a group like this you can’t really prepare. You have to be as fast as possible all the time, and try to be up front. You will get knocked back in the race a few positions, normally, but still”.

“Towards the end I tried to be in third, fourth or fifth position”, he continues. “I was around there going into the last lap, then I fell back a little, was pushed outside a little bit, but I came back. There was some chaos, with some guys crashing. I took advantage of that, got to the inside to pass two guys. Then I was in a really good position to slipstream Scott [Deroue], and hold on to the finish line.”

Grunwald now climbs to second in the rankings, just four points behind Scott Deroue (Motosport Kawasaki) himself, the only rider to have climbed on the podium at both races this year. He’s also the only non-Dutch rider in the top four positions, with Glenn van Straalen (KTM Fortron Racing Team) and Koen Meuffels (KTM Forton Junior Team) just behind.

Relive the WorldSSP300 race, including the spectacular final lap, thanks to the WorldSBK VideoPass.