The 2018 WorldSSP300 Champion battled until the last possible moment under the floodlights in Losail, but it wasn’t enough to finish runner-up in 2019…
In her final race as WorldSSP300 Champion in 2019, Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) had to relinquish second place in the title to Scott Deroue (Kawasaki MOTOPORT), finishing third in the standings overall after the Motul Qatar Round at Losail. The 22-year-old suffered bad luck in the frantically-fought duel in the desert, which saw her battered back to fifth, her worst points finish since Assen back in April – something that couldn’t have come at a worse time.
It was a weekend that promised so much more, with the Spaniard having superior pace throughout the three days. Taking pole position on Friday evening, Carrasco wasn’t able to fight hard enough in the race with the likes of Scott Deroue, his teammate Koen Meuffels and 2019 WorldSSP300 Champion, Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team). However, with two wins, three other podiums, two fastest laps and a pole position, it has been yet another strong campaign for the outgoing WorldSSP300 Champion.
Speaking after her race on a return to the Losail International Circuit, Carrasco commented: “In general, it’s been a positive weekend, where we were competitive as of day one. It’s a shame to finish off the podium because I had a good rhythm and I felt good fighting for victory. But it has been a difficult race with the group, and I had several critical situations in the race that made it very difficult to arrive in a good position on the last lap.”
Carrasco was part of the group of eight riders, of which all-but-one were Kawasaki-mounted; Galang Hendra Pratama (Semakin Di Depan Biblion Motoxracing) was the only rider able to fly the Yamaha flag. With her main title combatant able to pick up a victory in the closest ever WorldSSP300 finish ever, Carrasco was forced to take third overall in the standings. The only other rider in the race for second place in the standings was Andy Verdoïa (BCD Yamaha MS Racing), but he finished eighth and therefore only fourth in the Championship, some 20 points behind Carrasco.
Reviewing her season, Carrasco thanked her team and sponsors for 2019, and hopes that she will be back at the forefront of the Championship in 2020: “Even so, we got third place in the Championship. I think that the team, like me, have much improved during the season and we’re happy with our performance, but above all, eager to face the next season. I want to thank the team, Kawasaki and all the sponsors for supporting me in what I feel has been the best season of my sports career.”
Can Carrasco fight back in 2020? Find out with the WorldSBK VideoPass!