After the cancellation of the planned Imola race last month the sun-kissed Jerez crowd ended up with two WorldSSP300 races to enjoy, the first on Saturday the second on Sunday. The usual incredibly close and combative races saw Kawasaki riders take every single podium place available, with Marc Garcia (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) winning race one and championship leader Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGo Team) the victor in race two.
With the Ninja 400 riders rampant in the hot and intense competiton that matched the weekend weather, both races delivered astounding competition for the top points scores. In race two Spanish riders monopolised the three podium places, after taking two of the three podiums at their home event in race one.
In race one the four leading Ninja riders finished within 0.361 seconds of each other after 11 laps. In a seven lap second race the three Kawasaki podium riders were separated by only 0.048 seconds – the whole top five covered by just 0.223.
The Saturday race saw Garcia win from championship challenger Scott Deroue (Kawasaki Motoport) in a race where reigning World Champion Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec) took her first podium of 2019, in third place.
Ana would repeat her third position on Saturday, in another stone-cold thriller of a race, ending up within touching distance of winner Gonzalez and second placed Garcia.
Deroue was involved in a crash that brought the red flags out in race two and he had to start from the back of the grid for the seven-lap re-run. He finished 23rd but remains overall second.
After missing out on the podium on day one by an impossibly narrow margin, Gonzales' third win in four races gives him a 32 point advantage over Deroue, with Garcia third, six points behind the Dutch rider.
Mika Perez (Scuderia Maranga Racing Kawasaki) was seventh in race two, but Robert Schotman (Motoport Kawasaki) had a tough weekend, 25th on the grid, 19th in race one and then having to start the second race from pitlane after a race one incident. He no scored after entering the pits.
A giant total of 55 riders attempted to qualify in Spain, first in A and B qualifying heats or in the always high-drama last chance race on Saturday afternoon.
After a double round in Jerez the next chance for the young WorldSSP300 riders to compete again in the regular single race format will be at Misano, on the Adriatic coast of Italy, between 1 and 23 June.
Manuel Gonzalez, stated: "Incredible is the perfect word for today. In the last corner it was difficult to close the door or to overtake. In the straight I could overtake Garcia. It is thanks to my team and Kawasaki that I won this race. Yesterday was not the best for me, fourth position, so the victory today pushed me higher in the points table."
Marc Garcia, stated: "I am really happy to take a victory and get back on the podium. It was a difficult race because there were so many riders at the front. We expect that, but we got the win in race one and we are all so happy for that. I did the same strategy in race two and passed Manuel in the last corner, just like yesterday, but he passed me in the slipstream. I am still very happy."
Ana Carrasco, stated: "In race one I think we did a good job and for sure were in the battle for the victory. We lost it in the last corner but in this category there is always crazy things. I think we deserved to finish on the podiums, because we worked so hard through the winter and the past weeks. The team all have been working for many months and deserve a result. The race on Sunday was very short but very hard. I am happy to finish on the podium again. If we work hard and keep pushing for sure the race victory will arrive."
Scott Deroue, stated: "To be honest my best position on Friday and Saturday was P8 and I qualified P13. I was two seconds off so we had something to do, hoping to get a good start and get into the pack. We did and I was just pushing always, like unbelievable level in race one. On the last lap I was just looking for a good line and track position and it finally happened. We took second place and I was unbelievably happy. In the second race I had a lot of bad luck and I could not avoid a crashing rider in front. We made every effort to be able to restart. From last place on the grid I didn't have the right feeling and I didn't get to set my best lap times."