The Dutchman finished fractionally ahead of teammate Koen Meuffels in one of the closest finishes in WorldSSP300 history…
With the Championship already decided in the WorldSSP300 class, it was all for pride and glory at the Losail International Circuit, as the final round of the feeder class’ season got underway. Racing in a pack is always one of the main spectacles of World Supersport 300 and the Motul Qatar Round proved to be no exception. However, mastering the constant slipstream battle the best on the final lap, race victory went to Scott Deroue (Kawasaki MOTOPORT) from the third row of the grid.
Blasting into action with lights out, Australian Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) hit the front ahead of Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300), whilst Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) and Scott Deroue were right together, making for an interesting battle for second overall in the Championship. However, a collision towards the end of the lap with Ieraci at Turn 13 saw her drop back to eighth.
However, the 2018 WorldSSP300 Champion was not out of race-winning contention, as she hit the front on Lap 3, just a lap after setting the fastest lap of the race. However, her main title adversary, Scott Deroue, was up in third. 2019 Champion Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) was second and split the second and third in the Championship, whilst his teammate, Tom Edwards, had been dropped down to ninth. At the end of Lap 4, Carrasco led Gonzalez, Ieraci, Garcia and Deroue – the Dutchman getting picked off for third at the final corner. Koen Meuffels (Kawasaki MOTOPORT) completed the top six.
With five laps remaining, Deroue hit the front from Manuel Gonzalez, with the top seven riders all on Kawasaki machinery. At the back of the eight-rider group, it was Indonesian rider Galang Hendra Pratama (Semakin Di Depan Biblion Motoxracing) on a Yamaha. At the start of Lap 7, Koen Meuffels made his move to the front of the field, although it was short-lived with Ana Carrasco responding at Turn 4.
With the penultimate lap upon the WorldSSP300 class, Scott Deroue was back in the lead of the race, taking it from Ana Carrasco at Turn 12 with three laps to go. The last 10.6km would be a thrilling spectacle, as Bruno Ieraci now made his way to the front, soon being passed by Meuffels and Deroue, with a Dutch 1-2 now looking a real possibility. Carrasco was down in fourth, meaning that provisionally, Deroue would be second in the Championship.
Last lap time and 2018 MotorLand Aragon race winner Koen Meuffels was leading the way and had a small gap to those behind him, with the second place in the Championship about to be decided. In the final half a lap, Deroue closed in on his teammate Meuffels and on the run to the line, Deroue nabbed the victory by just 0.010 from Meuffels, making it a Kawasaki MOTOPORT 1-2.
Bruno Ieraci, Gonzalez and Carrasco were right in behind, with Ieraci taking his career first podium, whilst Tom Edwards was a solid sixth. This result meant that Deroue took second in the title ahead of Carrasco, whilst Gonzalez was already confirmed as Champion in France. Hendra Pratama was seventh as Marc Garcia (DS Junior Team) crashed out on the final lap. Andy Verdoïa (BDC Yamaha MS Racing) was ahead of Hugo De Cancellis (Team Trasimeno Yamaha) and Dion Otten (MTM Racing Team).
Top six after WorldSSP300 race, full results here!
- Scott Deroue (Kawasaki MOTOPORT)
- Koen Meuffels (Kawasaki MOTOPORT)
- Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project)
- Manuel González (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team)
- Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300)
- Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team)
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