38 points separate the leading two in the championship, after Scott Deroue delivered a victory at Portimao to delay Manuel Gonzalez’s title celebrations
Taking his first race win of the season, it was a crucial race victory for Scott Deroue (Kawasaki MOTOPORT) as he kept the championship alive in the World Supersport 300 class. The Dutchman, who started the season strongly, was held back at Jerez when he was caught up in a first lap accident before recovering to 23rd, whilst he was wiped out of Donington Park’s Last Chance Race, rendering two races with no points scored.
But Deroue’s experience came to the fore in WorldSSP300, hitting the front early on and putting in strong lap times to eventually break from the slipstreaming battles that rages on behind him. Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) was able to go with the Deroue and tried to attack on the final lap, but eventually lost out. Deroue’s win cuts the gap between himself and Gonzalez to just 38 points with two rounds left to go.
Speaking after the race, Deroue stated his joy of winning for the first time in 2019: “I love Portimao, I have always been fast here. We made a good start but then everyone passed me on the straight as they had better exit and slipstream. It was better to be at the front and try to pull away, as in the free practice, I was able to do it alone. Only Manuel was able to stay with me, so I made a plan for the final lap and it worked; awesome!”
Deroue is now nine points clear of his nearest rival, Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300), who finished third and still has a mathematical chance of retaining her 2018 WorldSSP300 crown. However, Magny-Cours is the next circuit on the calendar and that may be pivotal, as she would need to win and hope that Manuel Gonzalez is outside of the top 13, in order to take the championship race to Losail.
Looking ahead to the remaining races, Deroue concluded: “I don’t really look at the championship as I just want to win races. At the end of the year, we will see where we are. I think it is going to be really difficult because Manuel has had such a great season and is very consistent.”
Will Deroue remain in with a shout of an elusive first WorldSSP300 championship? To be able to take it to Losail, he must win at Magny-Cours and hope that Gonzalez is fourth or lower. If Deroue is second, then Gonzalez must be ninth or lower if the championship is to be decided under the floodlights of Losail.
Watch all of the WorldSSP300 action from the last two rounds of their season with the WorldSBK VideoPass!