Valiant Steeman: "The Championship is still on!"

Friday, 16 September 2022 05:56 GMT

An incredible ride back through the field saw Victor Steeman storm to a third win of the 2022 WorldSSP300 season

Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) is right back in the hunt for the 2022 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship after a titanic race victory during Race 2 of the Pirelli French Round at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. The Dutchman had a mixed race weekend overall; a lap record in pole position was followed by a costly crash in Race 1 from the lead, and despite a double Long Lap Penalty for Race 2, Steeman never gave up, storming through to take a third win of the season.

Under the previous lap record in Superpole by some margin Steeman was one of the favourites prior to lights out for Race 1. In the first encounter, he was a race leader before being caught and then ending up in a scrap amongst other riders, such as Dirk Geiger (Fusport-RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki), Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) and Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse). However, in a Lap 9 crash after being seven abreast going into Turn 5, Steeman lost the front going for the lead and wiped out Geiger, De Cancellis and Gennai. For the misdemeanour, he was given a double Long Lap Penalty for Race 2, which he served quickly, although he dropped outside the top 20. Miraculously, he fought back through the field and on Lap 10 before edging away. He managed the gap until the end of the race and from as low as 22nd, took Race 2 honours in incredible fashion.

Speaking about his Race 2 storm through the field, Steeman was elated: “The race was fantastic! At the beginning, I started to slow the pack down a bit to keep all the riders together. Then I did my Long Lap and noticed I wasn’t so far away, so I did the next one and wow… I just pushed like crazy to close the gap! It was difficult because some riders were making moves that weren’t normal, so I had to overtake one by one. I made it to the front and pushed to my maximum to get a gap. In the last two laps, I took it easy and managed the gap. I’m happy with the team, they did an amazing job – we topped every session this weekend until Race 2, apart from Race 1. I think we can be happy, and the Championship is still on!”

It was a mighty comeback for the Championship too, with Steeman now 50 points away from the Championship lead, currently occupied by Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team). Whilst Steeman was only 39 points away after Most in July, his win keeps him in the game and with another set of strong results in Barcelona, he may well be able to challenge for the Championship until the final round of the season at Portimao.

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