The first WorldSSP300 championship race of the 2018 season took place at Motorland Aragon on Sunday 15th April with the new Ninja 400 scoring two podium places, and dominating the top ten positions overall.
Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki) only missed out on the race win by 0.031 seconds, with third placed Mika Perez (Kawasaki ParkinGO team) just 0.125 seconds from the race winner Koen Meuffels.
In a final leading group of eight machines, after 11-laps, six were Kawasakis, and all covered by less than half a second. It was a truly thrilling race in a class that is just one season old, enjoying its global debut in 2017.
Deroue’s Dutch team-mate Robert Schotman (Motoport Kawasaki) was fifth in Spain, and proven race winner in 2017 Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) was sixth, having led at two separate points in the race.
Darren Loureiro (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) placed eighth, just 0.819 seconds from the win, and almost eight seconds ahead of the next rider.
The WorldSSP300 class has a highly over-subscribed grid entry as it provides affordable racing in a full status FIM World Championship, over eight events.
The next round of the championship takes place in a few days’ time, at the classic Assen circuit in the Netherlands, with raceday on Sunday April 22nd.
Scott Deroue, stated: “This is a nice feeling, to begin the season with a rostrum. I started the race pretty good, but it was difficult to hold on to first position. At the back end of the group I needed to fight back and I succeeded with just some laps to go. On the last one I got in front and I knew some riders would pass me on the back straight. But I couldn’t do anything else, because I knew I wasn’t fast enough to overtake other riders with a slipstream. I wanted the podium, so I tried my best to stay in front. Koen passed me, but I’m really satisfied with this second position. My strategy worked, so that’s good. I really look forward to Assen and I hope I can give my own Dutch supporters another rostrum.”
Ana Carrasco, stated: “I’m very pleased with the weekend. Throughout the race I felt very good and I had a strong rhythm. I managed to stay in the leading pack throughout the race and led several laps. In the end I had a slight knock with another rider, which raised the gear lever and made me lose a few positions. Even so the sensations are very positive. I’d like to thank all my team for giving me a very competitive bike during the weekend, to Kawasaki for all the work and to all the sponsors. Now we have to get ready for the next race, in Assen next week.”