The Dutchman’s first double in three years moved him to the top of the standings with two rounds to go in 2023
Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) moved into the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship lead at the Pirelli French Round as he did the double in a weekend where some title contenders shone and some faltered in the scorching French sunshine. The Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours has often provided plenty of WorldSSP300 drama and this year was no exception with the weekend having huge ramifications in the Championship battle.
Buis claimed victory in Race 1 by almost two seconds as he timed his charge to the front perfectly and broke away from the chasing pack for his ninth win in the Championship and 17th podium. It was a similar story on Sunday as he moved to the front with a handful of laps to go but an error dropped him down the order. Despite this, the 2020 Champion was able to battle back to the front for his first double since Aragon 2020 – where he won three of the four races at the Spanish venue that year.
Looking back on his win and weekend, Buis said: “It’s incredible to have two wins in a weekend. The last time for me was back in 2020 at Aragon! To have this feeling back again, it’s great. From the beginning, the race was a little bit different compared to Race 1 because Vannucci crashed in the first lap, and I had to avoid him. I lost about two seconds. In the next laps, I had to close the gap and I managed it. Then I stayed at the front of the group. With four laps to go, I wanted to make a gap to the other riders, but I made a mistake and ran a bit wide. I had to come back from P6 or something and I was there in one lap. Again, I stayed at the front and won the race.”
Buis’ two wins, coupled with title contenders Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) crashing in Race 2, Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) in eighth on Sunday and Petr Svoboda (Fusport – RT Motorsport by SKM – Kawasaki) outside the top ten, means Buis now leads the title fight by five points ahead of Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) and 13 ahead of Geiger. 22 points had separated seven riders heading into France, but the twists at Magny-Cours mean 13 points separate the top three, and 44 the top seven.
On reclaiming the Championship lead and the final two rounds of the season, Buis added: “It’s incredible to say it again. I want to say thanks to everybody but we’re not there yet. There’s 100 points left so I’ll give everything for the last two rounds of the season at Aragon and Portimao. I like the Aragon track a lot, I’ve had a lot of podiums there, and at Portimao we’ve had some very good results. I haven’t tested there with the bike, so it’ll be a little bit more difficult, but it’ll go well.”
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