At the official team launch in Madrid, the Spanish squad confirmed their graduation to WorldSSP with reigning WorldSSP300, Manuel Gonzalez
WorldSSP300 has seen various riders go onwards to World Supersport and 2019 WorldSSP300 Champion Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) is no exception. The youngest ever World Champion in FIM Road Racing World Championship history will graduate to the FIM Supersport World Championship with the Kawasaki ParkinGO Team in 2020, as they look to chase success at the next level in the forthcoming year. With a one-rider team in the WorldSSP class, all attention in the category will be provided to 17-year-old Gonzalez, as he seeks to build on what has been a stunning 2019 season in WorldSSP300.
Starting the year by taking his first win in the World Supersport 300 class at MotorLand Aragon, the Spaniard’s success didn’t stop there, as he took another win at the TT Circuit Assen. A fourth place in Race 1 at Jerez was soon improved on as he took a win in Race 2 – his last win to-date. Three more podiums have followed for Gonzalez, as he wrapped the title up in fine style at Magny-Cours, capping off a glorious weekend for Kawasaki, who took all poles and wins in every class.
Speaking of his future and the step up to the WorldSSP Championship, Gonzalez said: “"I really want to ride with the 600cc that made me feel great emotions right away. We did well in the first tests in Almeria and Jerez de la Frontera, we are one second from the top riders and this does not bother me. The level is very high in Supersport, there are riders with great experience, others coming from Moto2™. In the first race, I will not be able to fight for the podium I think, but slowly I think I will be able to get closer to the first ones coming by the mid-season.”
Gonzalez will be seeking to fly the Spanish flag for Kawasaki, with their last Spanish WorldSSP podium coming from David Salom at Portimao in 2011. The last winner of a WorldSSP race from Spain and on a Kawasaki was Joan Lascorz at Aragon in 2010. Whether Gonzalez will click straight away with the bike is yet to be seen, but his adaptability and versatility in WorldSSP300 have been unquestionable.
The team launch took place at the ParkinGO Kawasaki’s new flagship store in Madrid, a stone’s throw from Madrid’s Barajas International Airport. The team also unveiled their WorldSSP300 line-up of Filippo Rovelli and Tom Edwards.
There’s been plenty of riders that have come from WorldSSP300 into WorldSSP, such as Alfonso Coppola and Gianluca Sconza (GEMAR – Ciociaria Corse WorldSSP Team), as well as Maria Herrera, Dani Valle (MS Racing) and Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team). Will Gonzalez be able to make a big impact on the 2020 WorldSSP Championship?
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