Diverse, dynamic and dramatic: the WorldSSP and WorldSSP300 title races have come alive, so delve deeper into the rich rivalries and international talent of the championships!
A thrilling 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is well and truly alive, with each round providing a twist and turn in what has been a rollercoaster season. However, the same can be said in WorldSSP and WorldSSP300, which have had plenty to shout about too. The championship pendulums have been swinging at each round and this has made for three fascinating, record-breaking classes of competition.
The WorldSSP duel has been mainly between Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) and his teammate, Federico Caricasulo. They have enjoyed some stunning battles in 2019, starting with Caricasulo beating Krummenacher on the final lap at Assen. It was then a role-reversal in Italy at Imola, with a “technical problem” hindering Caricasulo’s performance on the final lap of the race, allowing Krummenacher to steal the win from the home-hero. Caricasulo would lose out once more in a final lap scrap to his teammate, this time in Misano – his true, home round. The two collided with just two corners to go with an aggressive Krummenacher fending off his teammate.
With just 15 points splitting them after eight rounds – although in recent rounds, Caricasulo has scored more points – the battle is raging fiercely in World Supersport. However, it is not the first time in recent seasons that the championship has featured true head-to-head battles. The 2018 WorldSSP battle between Sandro Cortese and Jules Cluzel went to the final round of the season, whilst in 2017, Lucas Mahias was pushed all the way by Kenan Sofuoglu. Back in 2013, it was battle after battle as Britain’s Sam Lowes took on Sofuoglu and conquered the Turkish WorldSSP master – a year where both had clashed and crashed.
However, the last time that two teammates were as close as this was in 2008, when Ten Kate Honda pairing Andrew Pitt and Jonathan Rea were both in the running for the title. A bad end for Rea enhanced Pitt’s advantage, but until then, there was nothing to separate them. Will a similar end come in 2019, this time for the BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team?
In the WorldSSP300 class, the array of talent on display is clear for all to see. With nine podium finishers from five countries, whilst also having four different winners within that, it has been a remarkably unpredictable season and one that has offered everything, from last lap battles to early race dramas and premature celebrations.
Perhaps one of the highlights of the season has been the fact that every single race has been going to the last lap, with absolutely nothing to split the best WorldSSP300 on the planet. The smallest gap of the season between first and second was a mere 0.019s between Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) and Marc Garcia (DS Junior Team) at Jerez in Race 2. However, even the biggest margin – secured by Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) at Misano by 0.822s – proved to be close and unpredictable, with a battle raging just yards behind. Even with the gaps between first and second added up through the year, it still comes to less than 1.5s.
Additionally, the WorldSSP300 class has shown just how internationally competitive it is. 16 countries are represented on the grid, with six of those achieving podiums at some point of the season. There have been three different nationalities on the podium on three occasions in 2019, whilst at the last round at Donington Park, seven riders achieved their career-best results. Eight different nationalities featured inside the top ten – Oliver König (ACCR Czech Talent Team – Willi Race) gave the Czech Republic their best finish in WorldSSP300 with seventh. The stars of tomorrow are from a variety of different countries, making WorldSSP300 one of the most globally competitive championships. In all, the classes and competition in the 2019 WorldSBK paddock have brought phenomenal drama and racing, with it set to continue after the Summer break.
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