DOUBLE CHAMPION: Buis secures second WorldSSP300 title with P11, Gennai doubles up in Portimao

Sunday, 1 October 2023 15:14 GMT

Jeffrey Buis became the first ever two-time WorldSSP300 Champion despite finishing outside the top ten, penalty denies Perez Gonzalez maiden victory

History was made in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship on Sunday at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) was crowned the first-ever two-time World Champion in the class with his P11 finish as his title rival finished second following a post-race penalty. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) took the win after Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez’s (Accolade Smrz Racing GBR) one-place penalty dropped him behind the Italian in Race 2 of the Pirelli Portuguese Round.

HISTORY MADE: Buis becomes first two-time Champion

After the first lap there was a lead group of six involving both Perez Gonzalez and Buis as the title contenders went for the World Championship although his soon became seven when Samuel Di Sora (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) bridged the gap. On Lap 3, Perez Gonzalez was in a lead group of two with him and Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) but the chasing group of five weren’t far behind. Gennai took the lead through Turn 12 on Lap 4 when Buis was running third although the lead duo still had a big margin over the chasing group, but by Lap 5 the #6 was starting to lap quicker than his rival.

On Lap 7, Buis dropped down to tenth – enough to win the title as he needed to be in the top 13 – with the lead group bunching up to be the top 12. This reduced to 11 when Julio Garcia (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) took his Long Lap Penalty on Lap 7, which he was given for irresponsible riding. He had been in the top four in the early stages. As the two-thirds distance was reached, the top two had clearly pulled away with Perez Gonzalez and Gennai trading first place.

Buis was content to sit in P11 behind the second group with the Dutchman consistently looking over his shoulder to see where the third group was. He had a big margin over this, and 11th place was enough for Buis to take his second WorldSSP300 Champion – the first rider to achieve this feat. Meanwhile, the battle for the lead was intensifying as the last lap started with Perez Gonzalez taking the lead at Turn 1 on the final lap. On the run into Turn 5, the pair made contact when running side-by-side with the #26 holding the lead. The #73 crossed the line but a one-place penalty for irresponsible riding dropped him to second behind Gennai.

It was Gennai’s fourth win and third at Portimao after winning here in 2022, tying him with Bahattin Sofuoglu in seventh. Perez Gonzalez thought he was celebrating a maiden win, but the penalty means he took his fourth podium, tying him with Inigo Iglesias and Humberto Maier for podiums without a win.

NOTHING TO SEPARATE THE PODIUM FIGHT: four tenths covering six riders

Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) was third as he led a six-rider group in the battle for third as the German took his seventh podium in WorldSSP300. Daniel Mogeda (ProGP Racing) was the closest rider to the rostrum as he finished 0.047s behind the 360, while Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) was fifth. Indonesia’s Galang Hendra Pratama (Sublime Racing by MS Racing) was sixth with Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) and Samuel Di Sora (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) in seventh and eighth. This group were separated by just four tenths at the end of the 13-lap race.

SCORING POINTS: it’s close up and down the field…

Britain’s Fenton Seabright (Kawasaki GP Project) was ninth and he was less than a second away from the podium-battling group, finishing ahead of Humberto Maier (Yamaha MS Racing/AD78 Latin America Team) in tenth. Buis was 11th as he wrapped up the title while the battle for 12th went right to the line. Julio Garcia took 12th after his Long Lap Penalty but he was only 0.001s clear of teammate Kevin Sabatucci. Kevin Fontainha (Yamaha MS Racing/AD78 Latin America Team) was 14th ahead of Devis Bergamini (ProGP Racing) who completed the points-paying positions.

HOUSEKEEPING: three retirements from Race 2

There were three retirements in the race. Marco Gaggi’s (Team BrCorse) bike had to be pushed off the starting grid and into the pits with the Race 1 podium finisher unable to take part in the race. Marc Garcia (China Racing Team) had to start from the pit lane due to exceeding the engine allocation rules, and the Spaniard brought his bike into the pits as did Petr Svoboda (Fusport – RT Motorsport by SKM – Kawasaki) with a couple of laps to go.

The top six from WorldSSP300 Race 2, full results here:

1. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse)

2. Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) +0.002s

3. Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) +6.446s

4. Daniel Mogeda (Kawasaki GP Project) +6.493s

5. Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) +6.518s

6. Galang Hendra Pratama (Sublime Racing by MS Racing) +6.553s

Fastest lap: Dirk Geiger (KTM) – 1’55.113s, new lap record

Championship standings

1. Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) 207 points

2. Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) 200

3. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) 180

4. Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) 174

5. Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) 155

6. Petr Svoboda (Fusport – RT Motorsport by SKM – Kawasaki) 121

Congratulate Buis on his second title using the hashtag #BackToBuis and watch WorldSBK and WorldSSP action from Jerez using the WorldSBK VideoPass – now only €9.99!