Gennai leads BrCorse 1-2 in red-flagged WorldSSP300 Race 1; Buis penalised, title race goes to Sunday

Saturday, 30 September 2023 12:43 GMT

Buis’ penalty meant he was classified in P8 while title rival Perez Gonzalez secured a podium finish to take the fight until the final day of the season

Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) claimed a dramatic Race 1 victory at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in a red-flagged battle as he led home his teammate, Marco Gaggi. In terms of the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship title race, the battle goes on to Race 2 on Sunday as Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) took a podium with leader Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) in eighth after two penalties on Saturday.

TITLE RACE GOES ON: Perez Gonzalez third, Buis penalised as Gennai wins

Although Perez Gonzalez got away well as the lights went out, Buis got his elbows out at Turn 1 to take the lead although the Spanish rider stormed into the lead at Turn 1 at the start of Lap 2. Buis took his Long Lap Penalty, given to him for slow riding in Free Practice by the FIM Stewards, which dropped him down to P14 although he was straight back on the charge as he moved into tenth at the start of Lap 4. The #6 started to close the gap to the lead group but a mistake on Lap 7 cost him time, although he was still in contention. The lead group was consistently around 10 riders with positions changing all the time.

On the final lap, the red flags were brought out following a crash at Turn 4 involving Jose Manuel Osuna Saez (Deza-Box 77 Racing Team) with the results based on the last completed time keeping point for each rider. The Spaniard was taken to the medical centre for a check-up and was conscious. He was diagnosed with a left collarbone fracture, chest contusion and left rib fractures. He will be transported to hospital for further assessments. It means Gennai led a Team BrCorse 1-2 ahead of Gaggi, while Perez Gonzalez took third. Gennai claimed his first victory in WorldSSP300 here last year and repeated that feat in Race 1, while Gaggi was on the podium for the third time. The #73 was on the rostrum for the third time, meaning the title race goes to Sunday as Buis finished eighth.

AN EPIC COMEBACK: Sabatucci fights through the field

Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) was fourth after consistently fighting with the lead group, finishing 0.633s down on Gennai when the race was red flagged. Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) was fifth but his Championship challenge is now mathematically over, trailing Buis by 44 points with 25 available on Sunday. Kevin Sabatucci (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) took sixth despite starting from the final row after having a five-place grid drop.

BUIS’ DOUBLE PENALTY: a long-lap and a one-place penalty

It was another impressive race for rookie Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) as he took seventh. He had crossed the line in eighth but the #6 was penalised with a one-place penalty for irresponsible riding on the main straight, with the 2020 Champion classified in eighth. It means the gap between Buis and Perez Gonzalez is now 22 points heading into Sunday’s showdown. Daniel Mogeda (Kawasaki GP Project) was ninth with Samuel Di Sora (ProDina Kawasaki Racing Team) in tenth.

SCORING POINTS: several riders in the top 15 despite penalties

Fenton Seabright (Kawasaki GP Project) was 11th and wrapped up the Pirelli Best Lap Award by virtue of Gennai taking the fastest lap. Wildcard Tomas Alonso (Quaresma Racing Team) scored points as he took 12th on home soil, his best result in WorldSSP300. Julio Garcia (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) was 13th despite a double Long Lap Penalty given to him for slow riding in Free Practice. Brazilian Humberto Maier (Yamaha MS Racing/AD78 Latin America Team) was 14th with Ruben Bijman (Arco Motor University Team) 15th. Both Maier and Bijman had to serve a Long Lap Penalty for slow riding in Free Practice on Friday, while Bijman was demoted one place in the classification for irresponsible riding on the main straight, dropping him behind Maier despite crossing the line ahead.

HOUSEKEEPING: retirements from Race 1

Several other riders were given Long Lap Penalties for slow riding on the line in practice. Juan Pablo Uriostegui (Sublime Racing by MS Racing), Petr Svoboda (Fusport – RT Motorsport by SKM – Kawasaki) and Alessandro Zanca (Team#109 Kawasaki) were all penalised and finished 16th, 19th and 20th respectively.

Raffaele Tragni (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) was the first retirement when he crashed at Turn 4 on Lap 2 which forced him out of the race. Phillip Tonn (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) was fighting for the points on his WorldSSP300 debut but a late technical issue forced him to retire. Unai Calatayud (Arco Motor University Team) was two laps down after bringing his bike into the pits; the Spaniard was given a double Long Lap Penalty for a jump start. Galang Hendra Pratama (Sublime Racing by MS Racing) was classified a lap behind the leaders after he had a Turn 2 spill on the opening lap, but he was able to re-join the race.

The top six from WorldSSP300 Race 1, full results here:

1. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse)

2. Marco Gaggi (Team BrCorse) +0.142s

3. Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) +0.446s

4. Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) +0.633s

5. Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) +0.807s

6. Kevin Sabatucci (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) +1.095s

Fastest lap: Mirko Gennai (Yamaha), 1’55.418s

Watch the Race 2 title decider on Sunday at 15:15 Local Time (GMT+1) using the WorldSBK VideoPass – only €9.99!