LEHMANN'S TERMS: dry tyre gamble gives Lehmann first win from P22 in wet, wild, and wacky Most Race 1

Saturday, 29 July 2023 11:37 GMT

Lennox Lehmann’s choice to stay out on slicks handed him his first win in WorldSSP300 in the first-ever WorldSSP300 flag-to-flag race

German rider Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) secured a dramatic and unlikely maiden FIM Supersport 300 World Championship victory at the Autodrom Most as he stayed out on slick tyres in a rain-affected Race 1. It was a day of firsts at the Acerbis Czech Round as Marco Gaggi (Team BrCorse) and Daniel Mogeda (Kawasaki GP Project) also stood on the rostrum for the first time as they, like Lehmann, opted to not pit.

THE RAIN FALLS: slick tyre gamble paves the way for victory

Rain started to fall as the Warm Up lap concluded but riders stayed on slick tyres until around the end of Lap 5 when the first riders started to pit. Despite the rain falling heavier, staying out proved to be the right choice as Lehmann started matching the wet-tyre runners in the second half of the race, in terms of pace, as he pulled out over the other riders who didn’t change tyres. He was joined on the podium by Marco Gaggi (Team BrCorse) and Daniel Mogeda (Kawasaki GP Project) with both riders also not pitting.

Lehmann went from P22 on the grid to claim his first victory by 3.470s ahead of Gaggi in second and Mogeda in third; the latter two both claiming their first podiums in the Championship. Lehmann’s win meant KTM secured back-to-back victories for the first time, while he became the seventh winner of 2023 – coincidentally, the #28 is the 28th different winner in the Championship. 

A NEW ORDER: the rain changes the complexion of Race 1

Ioannis Peristeras (ProGP Racing) claimed his first ever top-ten finish with fourth place, from 29th on the grid, as he also opted to remain on slick tyres as he became the first Greek rider to score points in WorldSSP300. Jose Perez Luis Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) took fifth as the highest-placed rider to pit for slick tyres, as he overtook home hero Petr Svoboda (Fusport – RT Motorsport by SKM – Kawasaki) on the penultimate lap, with Svoboda finishing sixth.

BATTLING BACK: Veneman in the top ten despite Lap 1 incident

British rider Fenton Seabright (Kawasaki GP Project) was seventh ahead of Marc Garcia (China Racing Team). The duo was battling in the closing stages with Seabright passing the Kove rider to gain a place, before pulling out a gap of over five seconds on the 2017 Champion. Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) was ninth, one second down on Garcia, while teammate Loris Veneman completed the top ten despite being involved in a Lap 1, Turn 1 incident.

IN THE POINTS: strong debut on Saturday

Julio Garcia (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) was 11th in the unpredictable Race 1 with Mexico’s Juan Pablo Uriostegui (Team#109 Kawasaki) in 12th. Maxim Repak (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) scored points in his first WorldSSP300 race as he finished in 13th, fending off Raffaele Tragni (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) by just 0.114s. Tragni’s compatriot, Alessandro Zanca (Team#109 Kawasaki) completed the points-paying position.

HOUSEKEEPING: plenty to unpack…

There was a Turn 1 incident involving several riders which was placed under investigation by the FIM Stewards, involving Matteo Vannucci (Team#109 Kawasaki), Julio Garcia, Kevin Santos Fontainha (Sublime Racing by MS Racing), Ruben Bijman (Arco Motor University Team), Mattia Martella (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) and Veneman. Fontainha and Vannucci brought their bikes into the pits after the incident, with the Brazilian retiring, while everyone else was able to re-join. Vannucci finished two laps down, with Martella four down on Lehmann.

Bijman also finished four laps down after a race of crashes for the Dutchman. After being involved in the Turn 1 incident, he also crashed at Turn 2 and again at Turn 1 later on in the race. He was classified in 26th. Kevin Sabatucci (Team Flembbo – PI Performances) was 22nd after he had to take a Long Lap Penalty for irresponsible riding in FP2.

Samuel Di Sora (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) retired after an incident with Galang Hendra Pratama (Sublime Racing by MS Racing) on Lap 4 at Turn 15; with the Indonesian given a Long Lap Penalty for his role in the incident. He later retired. Walid Khan (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) retired after a Turn 6 crash on Lap 7, after he was given a Long Lap Penalty for irresponsible riding for his role in the opening lap incident, while Enzo Valentim (Yamaha MS Racing/AD78 Latin America Team) also was not classified.

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

1. Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM-Paligo Racing)

2. Marco Gaggi (Team BrCorse) +3.470s

3. Daniel Mogeda (Kawasaki GP Project) +26.216s

4. Ioannis Peristeras (ProGP Racing) +36.812s

5. Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) +40.061s

6. Petr Svoboda (Fusport-RT Motorsport by SKM-Kawasaki) +48.632s

Fastest Lap: Aldi Mahendra, Yamaha – 1’47.583s

Don’t miss Race 2 on Sunday at 15:15 Local Time (GMT+2) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!