There was a huge twist in the WorldSSP300 title race as Veneman won, Buis was second and Geiger crashed from the podium positions
It was an emotional Saturday for Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) as he claimed his first FIM Supersport 300 World Championship win in a dramatic fight-to-the-line with teammate Jeffrey Buis, whose grip on the Championship battle tightened with his podium and rival Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) crashed from the podium places at MotorLand Aragon. It was a red-flagged Race 1 for the Tissot Aragon Round which provided plenty of drama despite the shortened race.
RED FLAG INTERRUPTS RACE: restarted over a shorter distance…
Geiger and Buis both got a good start as the lights went out and looked to break away with Vannucci, before the #91 moved into the lead with a move on Championship leader Buis at Turn 16 at the end of the opening lap. With an ever-growing lead group dicing for the top positions, the red flags were deployed at the end of Lap 4 due to safety conditions at Turn 16 following a crash involving Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) and wildcard Antonio Torres Dominguez (Deza-Box 77 Racing Team) on the opening lap. The incident was placed under investigation by the FIM Stewards, with no action taken, and Lehmann was taken to the medical centre for a check-up. He was declared unfit with a right femur subtrochanteric fracture and taken to Zaragoza Hospital for further assessment. Samuel Di Sora (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) did not take to the restarted race after he crashed at the start of Lap 4 at Turn 2.
0.049s BETWEEN THE PODIUM TRIO: fourth-closest podium finish in WorldSSP300
The race was restarted after a short delay over a five-lap distance. Geiger once again got a great start as the race started to move into the lead. He remained in the lead group until Lap 4 when he crashed at Turn 9 from third place and, while he re-joined the race, he finished down in 26th and last. The group remained large throughout the final lap and a half with the battle going right to the lane. Teammates Veneman and Buis were 1-2 heading into Turn 16 with the #6 looking to overtake him on the inside with the #7 holding on around the outside and on the run to the line by just 0.033s. It was Veneman’s first win, which he took from 15th on the grid for the original start, and he’s now gone one better than his dad, Barry, who was a World Championship podium finisher. For Buis, it was his 19th podium and he’s now just one shy of Scott Deroue’s record of 20. Daniel Mogeda (Kawasaki GP Project) completed the podium for his second rostrum in WorldSSP300. Just 0.049s separated the top three. The gap between the trio meant it was the fourth-closest WorldSSP300 podium.
TOP SIX: narrowly missing out on a podium
Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) was once again fourth, for the sixth time in 13 races in 2023, after benefitting from a Ruben Bijman (Arco Motor University Team) penalty. The Dutchman had crossed the line in fourth but a track limits infringement on the final lap at Turn 7 dropped him down to fifth, behind Perez Gonzalez. Jose Manuel Osuna Saez (Deza-Box 77 Racing Team) completed the top six with 0.090s separating the top six at the end of the race.
INSIDE THE TOP TEN: track limits change the order
Spaniard Julio Garcia (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) was another home hero who enjoyed success at his home round as he took seventh. The two riders behind both had track limits penalties. Marco Gaggi (Team BrCorse) was classified in eighth and Unai Calatayud (Arco Motor University Team) ninth. Both were deemed to have exceeded track limits at Turn 5 on the final lap, demoting both one place. Fenton Seabright (Kawasaki GP Project) completed the top ten.
TWO SECONDS BETWEEN POINTS SCORERS: nothing in it…
Kevin Sabatucci (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) took 11th and missed out on a top ten spot by less than a tenth, ahead of Indonesia’s Galang Hendra Pratama (Sublime Racing by MS Racing) in 12th. Polesitter Vannucci set the fastest lap of the race but dropped down the order to 13th as he finished ahead of wildcard Marc Vich Gil (Acro Motor University Team). Despite a crash in the original race which dropped him to the back of the grid for the restarted, Troy Alberto (Fusport – RT Motorsport by SKM – Kawasaki) completed the points-paying positions. He was only two seconds away from Veneman after the five-lap race.
HOUSEKEEPING: retirements, Long Lap Penalties and Championship twists…
Marc Garcia (China Racing Team) retired from the race on Lap 4 of the restarted battle, as did Petr Svoboda (Fusport – RT Motorsport by SKM – Kawasaki) after he crashed at Turn 4. Three riders had to take a double Long Lap Penalty for jump starts in the original race. Mattia Martella (ProDina Kawasaki Racing), Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) and rookie Christopher Clark (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) were all penalised and finished 23rd, 19th and 24th respectively.
The top six from WorldSSP300 Race 1, full results here:
1. Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki)
2. Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) +0.022s
3. Daniel Mogeda (Kawasaki GP Project) +0.049s
4. Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) 0.787s
5. Ruben Bijman (Arco Motor University Team) +0.850s
6. Jose Manuel Osuna Saez (Deza-Box 77 Racing Team) +0.909s
Fastest lap: Matteo Vannucci (Yamaha), 2’07.106s
Watch WorldSSP300 Race 2 on Sunday at 15:15 Local Time (GMT+2) using the WorldSBK VideoPass – now only €9.99!