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Kawasaki Rider Buis Doubles Up
The Circuit de Nevers - Magny Cours was the venue where the always thrilling FIM Supersport 300 World Championship got going again after a long summer break. Kawasaki riders enjoyed success at the 4.411km long circuit located in the epicenter of France, in what were unseasonably high ambient and track temperatures. None enjoyed the Magny Cours experience more than winner of both races, Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki), as he also took the championship lead.
Warm sunshine blessed the entire weekend in France, allowing the teams to work with a high degree of consistency from the opening day on Friday 8 September to the final race on Sunday 10 September.
In Superpole qualifying Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR Kawasaki) was second quickest behind KTM rider Dirk Geiger. Sixteen-year-old Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) took his first front row start by finishing third fastest under the bright sunshine that was present even early on a relatively cool Saturday morning.
The opening race was held over 13 dry laps and with the track temperature reaching almost 50°C. An early leading bunch of ten riders battled it out around a circuit layout with some changes of elevation and a great variety of corner types.
Eventually - after so many changes of lead and track position at this wide circuit with many passing places - the pace and determined push of Buis would tell. He finally made the break that he had been trying to put into place all race long and would end up winning by almost two seconds.
It was the 2020 WorldSSP300 champion’s ninth career race win, extending his own all-time record of victories in this unique category of global racing. He did not know it at the time but another landmark was to appear on his personal career map on Sunday.
There was, in fact, a Kawasaki lock-out of the podium places in Race One with second placed Kevin Sabatucci (Team Flembbo PI Performance Kawasaki) taking his first top three finish since Donington Park in 2019, while a rider on the other end of the experience scale took his first ever podium at this level. Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) secured third place after a final lap sort out between the riders behind Buis. This all happened just one day before Loris turned 17 years old on Sunday 10 September.
With Geiger fourth Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing Kawasaki) placed fifth ensuring that there would be four Ninja 400 riders inside the top five places.
Daniel Mogeda (Kawasaki GP Project Kawasaki) was sixth after Matteo Vannucci was penalized with a drop of one position. Fenton Seabright (Kawasaki GP Project) was part of the leading group but fell at Turn 13, remounting to record a strong seventh place, albeit over 12 seconds from Buis’ peerless win.
After another 13 laps of intense action in Race Two on Sunday Buis recorded his second win, and the record breaking tenth of his career to date.
At one early stage it looked like Geiger would be the rider to make a decisive break from the many Kawasaki hopefuls, but the chasing pack of seven hauled him back in and he would eventually tip off at slow speed, remounting to finish ninth.
His error helped the cause of Buis as he ended up making the best decisions at the right time to be in front on the final lap, just far enough ahead to prevent any other rider making a realistic attack at the final - and often infamous - chicane.
Jeffrey’s margin of victory was a slender 0.688 seconds but it was enough to give him a five point championship lead over Perez Gonzalez leaving Magny Cours.
Veneman made a strong play for the lead with a short distance left to run but he lost out on a win and a podium place, with Mirko Gennai finishing second and Perez Gonzalez scoring a podium spot for the second time in his career. His remarkable ability to gather good points at every round sees Jose Luis second in the championship, just five points behind Buis and eight points ahead of Geiger.
An incredibly successful second race for Kawasaki saw no fewer than seven Ninja 400s inside the top eight finishing places.
Fourth place was taken by Mogeda, fifth by Veneman, who was still only just a second behind his team-mate Buis despite being four places behind. Sabatucci was sixth, Jose Manuel Osuna Saez (Deza - Box77 Racing Kawasaki) seventh and a lone ride from Seabright placed him eighth.
Double Assen Round race winner Petr Svoboda (Füsport - RT Motorsports by SKM Kawasaki) had a tough weekend by his normal standards, qualifying 24th then finishing his races in 13th and 11th places respectively. He is now fourth in the championship.
Samuel Di Sora (Prodina Kawasaki) did not get the home round results he was looking for, with one DNF on Saturday and then a single point for 15th place in Race Two.
In the championship itself Buis is the new leader with 149 points, Perez Gonzalez has 144 points, Geiger has 136 and Svoboda is fourth with 121.
Kawasaki leads the Manufacturers’ standings by 35 points and MTM Kawasaki now leads the Team’s standings by a single point.
Two full rounds remain in the eight round championship, with back-to-back race weekends taking place at Motorland Aragon (22-24 September) and then Portimao (September 29 - October 1).