Carrasco, Deroue, Pérez and Grunwald all reach season finale with options to take title
The Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours hosts the grand finale to this season’s FIM Supersport 300 World Championship after what has perhaps been the closest championship race in all of WorldSBK history. In the seven previous races we’ve had six different race winners and thirteen riders on the podium. Most importantly, four of those riders can still take the title back home in what promises to be twelve laps of nerve-wrenching excitement.
Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team) remains in control of the championship standings with a ten-point advantage, however that same lead has shrunk after every round since her extraordinary Donington Park win. The Spanish rider missed a first chance to write her name in the history books at Portimao, where she could only cross the line in eleventh position (reviewed to tenth after Sánchez’s penalty). Third time lucky will not be an option for Carrasco: it’s all or nothing at Magny-Cours for the WorldSSP300 trailblazer.
Few riders left Algarve happier than Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki) and fewer still with as much momentum. After a string of bad results and awful luck, the Portuguese Round seemed to mark a change in fortunes for the Dutchman: he dominated proceedings at Portimao and stands just ten points behind Carrasco. Last season his title challenge fell apart at Magny-Cours – will the 2018 Acerbis French Round bring redemption for Deroue?
Mika Pérez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) is yet to win a race this season, yet through sheer perseverance and showing the consistency of a champion he finds himself eighteen points behind Carrasco with one round to go. He’s finished second in both last two races and whilst his options are slim, have no doubt that the youngest of the four contenders will give it his all until the checkered flag.
Fourth in the title chase is Luca Grunwald (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team), 22 points behind the leader. The KTM rider was unfortunate at Portimao, crashing in the final laps following an incident with another rider and leaving the seventh round of the season with no points, after battling inside the front group. It might take a minor miracle now for the German to win the championship, but if we know one thing for certain it’s that nothing is certain in WorldSSP300 until the checkered flag comes down.
Watch the final race of the WorldSSP300 season live and OnDemand thanks to WorldSBK VideoPass.