Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) won the second WorldSSP300 race of her career after putting in a pole-to-chequered-flag win at the Imola circuit in Italy today. Recent championship leader Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki) was unfortunate to fall in the final sector of the race, but is still only 12 points off the championship lead, in third place.
After posting the best lap in Superpole qualifying Carrasco simply let loose in the race itself, piling on the pace to ease away from the chasing bunch in a class that is known for close competition between younger riders, all desperate to make their mark in the newest form of full FIM World Championship racing there is.
Ana’s final margin of victory was over 13 seconds, after only 11 laps of the 4.936km long Imola circuit.
On the awesome new Kawasaki Ninja 400 the uncatchable 21-year-old Spaniard Carrasco made good use of her strong pre-race preparations to follow up her race win for Kawasaki in Portugal last year.
After qualifying second but being penalised for slow riding in a practice session – like many of his competitors – Deroue was put back to sixth on the final grid. He was on course for a podium finish until he almost lost the rear exiting the Tosa hairpin, also dropping track position for a short time.
He regrettably crashed after losing the front on the very last lap, but his misfortune allowed another Kawasaki rider, Borja Sanchez, from the ETG squad, to take second place, at the head of a pack of six battling competitors. Sanchez had originally been classified third but was promoted after another rider was penalised for going over the limits of the track.
Mika Perez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) placed eighth, one second behind the second group, but Tom Edwards (Nutec – Benjan Kawasaki) crashed out early. His team-mate Walid Khan was tenth today and Darren Loureiro (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) 11th. Robert Schotman (Motoport Kawasaki) crashed heavily and was taken to hospital for checks.
In the championship fight, Carrasco leads with 48 points, Luca Grunwald has 45 and Deroue 36. The next round will take place at Donington Park in the UK on the 27th of May.
Ana Carrasco, stated: “Incredible! I think we had a perfect weekend because we were really strong in all the practice sessions and the whole race. I did not push, push, push to go alone but it was easier than I thought. I feel really happy and the team did a perfect job.”
Scott Deroue, stated: “I’m really disappointed about this DNF, because I rode a pretty good race. In the sighting lap I noticed a problem with my quick shifter. An hour before the race the external company who’s responsible for the quick shifter visited us. In the warm-up on Sunday morning everything still was fine, but during the race the reaction of the quick shifter was really slow. It affected my race a lot, so I’m pretty upset that it gave me a harder challenge to get a good result. I tried to gap my opponents, but it wasn’t possible with this quick shifter problem. I pushed a lot in the last lap and unfortunately a little bit too much. Of course, it’s my own mistake, so I’m really disappointed in myself. I needed to be smart, but tell a racer to be calm if he sees the podium. I’m really fired up to go to Donington Park and set this DNF all straight. I also hope that my teammate Robert Schotman has a speedy recovery, so he will be able to show his speed in the UK-round.”