In a frantic season which has seen records shattered, rivalries ignited and early celebrations, what is on the horizon for WorldSSP300 at Misano?
The WorldSSP300 championship battle is beginning to take shape, with both former champions joining champion-elect Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) at the front of the title fight. Jerez proved a pivotal round for the likes of Scott Deroue (Kawasaki MOTOPORT), as he failed to score points, meaning that Gonzalez has momentarily been let off the hook – but Misano always throws up a surprise.
It has been an impressive start to the season for Manuel Gonzalez, who before the start of his 2019 campaign, had never won a WorldSSP300 race. Now with three wins from the opening four races, the 16-year-old heads to Misano, where he picked up his first career podium last year. With this being the fifth round, it is the second half of the season and Gonzalez could certainly put one hand on the championship trophy.
However, that is if everything goes to plan – which in WorldSSP300, is a rarity. Chasing him down in second position is Scott Deroue, with the Dutchman losing lots of ground on Gonzalez after being taken out in the first start of Race 2 at Jerez and not climbing through the order. The Dutchman has a mountain to climb to claw back the lost ground from Jerez but Misano could be the place – although he’s never achieved a podium at the circuit.
A return to the top in Jerez Race 1 for Marc Garcia (DS Junior Team) saw him launch up the order to third in the standings and just six points back of Deroue. The 2017 WorldSSP300 champion finally showed some of his 2017 form at the track which he clinched the championship at. Garcia’s form at Misano isn’t as fruitful, having only managed a sixth in 2017. Can he come good again for a second round running?
Fourth place sees Jan-Ole Jahnig (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team) sitting pretty, with a consistent start to 2019 meaning he remains in contention. The German teenager, who has a best result of third in 2019, will be hoping to get back on the podium for only the second time in his career. He was 20th on the grid at Misano but strong race craft saw him carve his way into eighth.
Completing the top five is French rider Hugo De Cancellis (Team Trasimeno Yamaha), who has also enjoyed a consistent start to the 2019 season, finishing every race in the top eight and with a podium at Aragon. At Misano in 2018, the 17-year-old scored his first points of his career and will be hoping to vastly improve on that in 2019, in a bid to stay in the title fight, with just nine points covering second to fifth.
Keep an eye out for Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300), as the reigning champion made a return to the podium at Jerez, whilst Galang Hendra Pratama (Semakin Di Depan Biblion Motoxracing) took his best result of the season. Victor Steeman (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team) was in the leading battle at Jerez, whilst the winner of the 2018 race at Misano, Manuel Bastianelli (Prodina IRCOS Kawasaki), will look to do it all again. There’s plenty of wildcards to keep an eye out for too, with six in the WorldSSP300 class.