Dutch rider Victor Steeman had topped all sessions except Race 1 and turned that pace into victory in Race 2
Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) produced an incredible comeback from a double Long Lap Penalty to claim a stunning victory in Race 2 at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours for the Pirelli French Round, while Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) was able to extend his lead in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship standings as he broke records to take a 40-point advantage into the penultimate round.
SUBLIME STEEMAN: a stunning fight
Steeman was given a double Long Lap Penalty for causing a pile-up at Turn 5 in Race 1, and he took that in the early stages of the race. He re-joined the race in 19th place but put in a series of rapid laps to catch the lead group, before fighting his way through it. On Lap 10, Steeman made a stunning move into the Turn 5 Adelaide hairpin to take the lead, briefly extending his lead to almost a second as he claimed victory.
Over the final laps, Diaz had moved into second place and closed the gap to Steeman, but was unable to catch up enough to make a move with Steeman winning by three tenths of a second, while Dirk Geiger (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) took third place. Steeman’s win gave him his fourth win and sixth podium, while Diaz’s second place made WorldSSP300 history: he now holds the record for most podiums in a season, with nine, and the longest streak of podiums with six consecutive rostrum visits to his name. Geiger took his maiden podium in Race 2 and became the 41st different rider to stand on a WorldSSP300 podium.
A CLOSE BATTLE: rounding out the top ten
French rider Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) was the highest-placed French rider with fourth place, finishing just over half-a-second away from Steeman out in front. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) had been fighting at the front and converted that into fifth place, a tenth behind De Cancellis, while he was seven tenths clear of Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) in sixth place.
Wildcard rider Petr Svoboda (Accolade Smrz Racing) took seventh spot after a strong showing from the Czech rider, with Svoboda finishing three tenths clear of Bruno Ieraci (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) in eighth place. Humberto Maier (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) made it four consecutive points finishes in a row with ninth place with Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing) rounding out the top ten.
LEAVING FRANCE WITH POINTS: finishing in the top 15
Gabriele Mastroluca (ProGP Racing) was a tenth away from a top ten finish as he finished in 11th place, ahead of Jose Luis Perez Gonzales (Accolade Smrz Racing) in 12th. Perez Gonzales was more than a second away from Mastroluca ahead of him, while he had a two tenths margin to Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) in 13th. Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) had been in the front group but dropped back to 14th ahead of Troy Alberto (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) with the rookie rounding out the points-scoring positions.
Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha), winner in Race 1, also had to serve a double Long Lap Penalty for irresponsible riding, this time from the Warm Up session, and he finished in 16th place. Alex Millan (SMW Racing) was 17th ahead of Daniel Mogeda (Team#109 Kawasaki) and his teammate Harry Khouri, while Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) was 20th; the results meaning he now trails Diaz by 40 points with two rounds remaining.
TO NOTE: talking points from Race 2
Iker Garcia Abella (Yamaha MS Racing) was the first retirement from the race, with the Spanish rider not taking to the race despite completing the sighting lap. Mate Smazado (MTM Kawasaki) crashed out on Lap 2 at Turn 8, with the Hungarian rider able to re-join but bringing his bike back to the pits; later rejoining two laps down. Sylvain Markarian (Leader Team Flembbo) was the second retirement of the race.
The top six following WorldSSP300 Race 2, full results here:
1. Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki)
2. Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) +0.342s
3. Dirk Geiger (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) +0.429s
4. Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) +0.587s
5. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) +0.703s
6. Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) +1.414s
Fastest Lap: Matteo Vannucci, Yamaha – 1’53.586s
1 Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) 197 points
2. Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) 157
3. Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) 147
4. Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) 130
5. Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) 107
6. Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) 105
Watch the final two rounds of the WorldSSP300 title fight in style using the WorldSBK VideoPass!