Jeffrey Buis claimed an emotional second World Championship at Portimao after his return to WorldSSP300
A new Champion, and yet a very familiar one. Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) made FIM Supersport 300 World Championship history in Portugal as he became the first rider to win two titles in the class. The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve played host to Buis’ crowning moment as he became a two-time World Champion after a three-way showdown against Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) and Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing).
GET TO KNOW THE HISTORY MAKER: the Dutchman who created new records in WorldSSP300
21-year-old Buis was born in Meppel and his passion for racing began, according to him when speaking to the Official Programme, because his dad was racing classic motorbikes, and he was at the track. He got his first bike at the age of four – his most treasured possession – and his career was born. The #6 had success in Germany and the Netherlands at a young age before a switch to WorldSSP300 in 2019, and the title a year later. He looked to defend it in 2021 but fell just short to teammate Adrian Huertas, and he returned to the Championship in 2023 after a difficult campaign in WorldSSP. Like a lot of riders, he’s previously said his hero is Valentino Rossi.
THE EARLY YEARS: domestic success leads to World Championship debut
Buis first competed in his Netherlands and in Germany, winning a race in the ADAC NEC Moto3™ in 2017 off the back of success in the Moriwaki Junior Cup in 2016. For 2018, the Dutchman moved to production-based machinery, again competing in the Netherlands and Germany. In the IDM Supersport 300 championship, he took one podium from three races while he was fourth in the Dutch championship. That domestic success led to him getting a shot in WorldSSP300 for the 2019 season with the MTM Kawasaki squad.
TWO YEARS TO TAKE THE TITLE: his first WorldSSP300 crown
Buis’ first season at World Championship level in 2019 was a difficult affair but his potential was seen as he finished in the points in seven of the nine races. His best was an eighth at Magny-Cours, but his sophomore campaign was where he really shone. Four wins, including three at MotorLand Aragon, and eight podiums in 14 races propelled him to the Championship as he became the first non-Spaniard to claim the WorldSSP300 title. In 2021, he swapped the #6 for the #1 as he looked to defend his title but came up just short after a double Portimao DNF. With two WorldSSP flyaway rounds after WorldSSP300 concluded, Buis made his debut with Kawasaki the same year, scoring two points in four races.
A MOVE UP TO WORLD SUPERSPORT: Buis finds it tricky
Despite his points-scoring endeavours in his first two WorldSSP rounds, his first (and, so far, only) full-time campaign was less successful. After linking up with Motozoo Racing by Puccetti – the same team he made his debut with – the Meppel-born rider only finished inside the top 20 on five occasions in 18 races and didn’t score a point. His best finish was 17th in Race 2 at the Circuito Estoril but a return to WorldSSP300 for 2023 was on the cards.
AN EMOTIONAL RETURN TO MTM KAWASAKI: making history as the first two-time Champion
After his year in WorldSSP, Buis returned to MTM Kawasaki for 2023. His first win of the year came at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Race 1, and he dedicated it to the late Victor Steeman, who sadly passed away after an incident at Portimao last year. The #6 was in contention throughout the season but three wins in four races across Magny-Cours and Aragon propelled him clear at the top of the standings. He had a 30-point margin heading into Portimao and he won the title in Race 2 with 11th place. An emotional conclusion to Buis’ return as he won the title at Portimao, a circuit MTM Kawasaki have had their best memories, with Huertas’ title win in 2021, and worst with Steeman’s passing last year. Buis ensured he paid tribute to Steeman, pointing to the sky as he rode back to the pits and stating in Parc Ferme: “I did it for Victor. Last year, I promised I’d try to be Champion and I did it, so this is for him.”
BUIS’ FUTURE: a switch to KTM for 2024…
After spending four seasons with MTM Kawasaki (2019-2021 and 2023), Buis embarks on a new challenge in 2024. He will partner up with the Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing squad, a team that have won two races in 2023 with the KTM RC 390 R machine in the hands of Lennox Lehmann and Dirk Geiger. If he wins with the Austrian manufacturer, he won’t be the first to win races for two brands in WorldSSP300 – Marc Garcia, Steeman, Mika Perez, Geiger and Koen Meuffels have all achieved this – but could he be the first to win the title with two different manufacturers?
Congratulate Buis on his second title using the hashtag #BackToBuis and watch every moment from Portimao using the WorldSBK VideoPass – now only €9.99!