The official race report service of Kawasaki Racing Team.

24 März 2024

Iglesias Bravo Wins On Opening Weekend

The FIM Supersport300 World Championship got off to a truly epic start at the Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya, between 22-24 March 2024. After finishing first in Race One returning WorldSSP300 rider and current IDM champion Inigo Iglesias Bravo (Füsport - RT Motorsports by SKM Kawasaki) was penalised and had to drop to 13th place. Undeterred he went on to win the second 12-lap race of the weekend to end up leading the championship standings after the opening round.

Daniel Mogeda (Team 109 Kawasaki) was the top placed Kawasaki Ninja 400 rider in the new era of Superpole qualifying, posting the second-quickest lap.
As part of the new look weekend schedule inside the overall WorldSBK paddock, Superpole takes place on Friday this year for the WorldSSP and WorldSSP300 classes, before points-scoring racing takes place on Saturday and Sunday.

Kevin Sabatucci (Team Flembbo-PL Performances Kawasaki) was fourth in Superpole, with Bruno Ieraci (Team ProDina Kawasaki) fifth. All 33 WorldSSP300 riders qualified inside the cut off limit, which is 107% of the Superpole ‘winner’s best lap time.

After Race One Iglesias Bravo had his first career WorldSSP300 race win taken away from him, after 12 laps full of incredible drama on Saturday 23 March. Thinking he had won he was even interviewed as the race winner in parc ferme before the results were changed.

As is typical in the category of racing the positions changed corner-by-corner from the start of the race, with Iglesias Bravo making the best of a last lap mistake in Turn 10 from Jeffrey Buis to lead across the finish line, only to be finally classified 13th.

He was docked three seconds from his race winning time after being penalised for being unable to take a long lap penalty before the end of the race, after he was adjudged to have caused another rider to crash in Turn Five.

Several other riders were forced to take penalties and thus change their original finishing position in the opening race. Six riders from the 33-strong entry simply did not get the end of an incredibly dramatic first race of the new season.

As a result of Iglesias Bravo’s misfortune there would be no Kawasaki rider on the first race podium after the official results were confirmed - although in reality there were a vast number of potential podium riders and race winners running Ninja 400 machinery at the front for the whole race.

Top placed Kawasaki rider in Race One would be Petr Svoboda (Füsport - RT Motorsports by SKM Kawasaki) in fourth place - and just 0.298 from the win. He was also only 0.071 seconds from a podium place.

Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki) came through from a qualifying position of 13th to finish fifth. Mirko Gennai (MTM Kawasaki) had been placed inside the top five but he was dropped one position in the final results for irresponsible riding.

Ruben Bijman (Team Flembbo-PL Performances Kawasaki) was another rider who was dropped one place, to finish eighth overall. He was penalised for exceeding the track limits on the final lap. Such was the close nature of the racing that Bijman was exactly one second from the winner at the end of the highly entertaining and occasionally chaotic 12-lap race.

Jose Manuel Osuna Saez (Deza - Box77 Racing Kawasaki) was on course for an impressive finish, having come through from a start in pitlane to join the leading group. He was to fall at Turn Ten, restart and finish in 22nd place. Ieraci fell early in the race, spoiling his chances of a podium finish.

In Race Two, another innovation for 2024 was introduced. The top nine starting positions for the second race of the weekend will now be based on the fastest lap set by the competing riders in Race One, not by Superpole qualifying or their Race One finishing position.

Hence the Race Two grid featured Bijman in second place and Svoboda in third. Kevin Sabatucci (Team Flembbo-PL Performances Kawasaki) launched from sixth place on the grid with Osuna Saez in ninth place. Mogeda started 11th and Ieraci 13th.

The final race at Catalunya was a solid gold classic of the genre, with upwards of 15 riders disputing the lead from the first lap to the overheated finale.

Iglesias Bravo got to keep his Race Two win this time, leading the warring factions once again across the line. He scored a full 25 points and his first ever race win at this level. He beat the second place rider Julio Garcia Gonzalez by only 0.064 seconds. Third place went to the rapid Ieraci, who was only 0.116 seconds from the win himself.

Mogeda was fourth and Svoboda - after a hard and late contact with another rider that left him with painful ribs - fifth.

Bijman, was 11th and penalised - like 12th place Gennai - by dropping one position after exceeding the track limits on the final lap. Osuna Saez, Fenton Seabright (Kawasaki GP Project) and Veneman completed the final points scoring positions from 13th to 15th place.

In the riders’ championship Iglesias Bravo is the early leader despite his Race One misfortune, sharing a points total of 28 with second placed Aldi Satya Mahendra. Third overall is Jeffrey Buis with 25 points and Svoboda is fourth with 24. Four other Kawasaki riders are inside the current championship top ten, with Ieraci seventh, Gennai eighth, Mogeda ninth and Bijman tenth.

Kawasaki leads the manufacturers’ championship by eight points after the opening two races of 2024. Füsport - RT Motorsports by SKM Kawasaki leads the Teams’ championship.

The next round of the season will take place at Assen in the Netherlands, between 19-21 April.

Rider Comments

Inigo Iglesias Bravo (Füsport - RT Motorsports by SKM Kawasaki), stated: “For sure I was a little bit hungry. There are always great battles in Supersport 300 racing but I have come here with a new team and new goals. It was a shame after the final result on Saturday after I made another rider crash. I did not mean it, and it was not really my fault as Vannucci closed the line in the last minute. But it happened and it is what it is. On Sunday I knew that I had the pace and that my bike is really, really good. We worked really hard on the set-up and I could do what I wanted. I was, all race long, saving the tyre to keep it for the last lap. My first ever win in WorldSSP300 is really important because I took a step back last year into IDM racing, and I was a little bit sad about not being here last year. I won IDM last year and I feel stronger, so I feel I am in a good moment.”

Bruno Ieraci (Team ProDina Kawasaki), stated: “Qualifying went well and I’m grateful to my team for all their hard work on the bike. Friday’s morning session was key, giving us the opportunity to ‘warm-up’ and iron out a few details. We knew we could be competitive and a spot on the second row confirms this. Unfortunately, Race One didn’t go as we’d hoped. I started well, but then made a mistake, coming into contact with another rider which caused me to lose the front and crash. I hate the fact the race came to an end so early, especially at the start of the year. After Saturday’s disappointment, reaching the podium was just what we needed on Sunday. It was an intense race and, although my goal was to win, I’ll settle for the podium. Scoring 16 points, especially after yesterday’s wrong move, was essential and I can only be pleased with this’ outcome. Now we head to Assen with a smile and can put yesterday’s mistake behind us.”

Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki), stated: “The first race went pretty good. I started in 13th place but finished up in P5, even after a penalty. I am quite happy about that. Only the second race was a little bit disappointing. From starting in 18th place due to the new regulations, I couldn’t get to the front as fast as I would like to. In the penultimate lap I got to P9. That would have been a good position for slipstreaming on the main straight but I got in a collision in the penultimate corner and I went into the gravel trap. I lost around ten places and made up around five more in the final lap. I could not get more than P15 out of it.”

Petr Svoboda (Füsport - RT Motorsports by SKM Kawasaki), stated: “I got hit in the penultimate corner of Race Two by someone else and I have hurt my right side. In a crazy race, I am happy to leave here with one fourth position and one fifth position. It is a good start to the year, so let’s keep working and do it like this again.”

Mirko Gennai (MTM Kawasaki), stated: “Race Two was very difficult because of a lot of contacts, and I do not know why I could not overtake riders on the main straight inside the slipstream. When I was behind the others they could go away. I tried to overtake as many riders as possible in the turns but when I went on the main straight again I went backwards each time as a lot of riders overtook me. I needed to do all the work again in the corners to get near the front. One of the most difficult races I have had in this class. But, in one month we have Assen and we try again there.”