Kove delight after first podium: “The project that started a year ago is beginning to bear fruit”

Kove made FIM Supersport 300 World Championship history on two occasions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, by topping their first Tissot Superpole session on Friday before claiming a first podium on Sunday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. They became the first manufacturer from China to achieve these feats and, speaking after the Pirelli Catalunya Round, Team Manager Jesus Rincon and Julio Garcia, who got the podium, discussed the historic moment.

Although Julio Garcia set the fastest time in Friday’s Superpole session after posting a 1’55.313s, the #48 was forced to start from fourth in Race 1. He was given a three-place grid penalty for irresponsible riding in Saturday’s Warm Up session, demoting him to the second row. A technical issue in Race 1 forced the Malaga-born star out of the race, however he was able to bounce back in Race 2 to claim a rostrum finish, his second in WorldSSP300 but Kove’s first since joining the Championship last year.

Reflecting on his weekend and explaining his decision to switch from Kawasaki to Kove machinery, Garcia said: “I think it was a quite positive weekend in which on Friday we already felt very fast from the start, and this was reflected in the fact that we got the pole. On Saturday we had a small problem, but the team solved it quickly so that on Sunday, the bike was perfect, and we were able to get second place in Race 2. I feel very good with the Kove, it was already seen that we adapted very quickly, and I think the bike has a lot of potential. 

“For me, the pole and podium are something that makes me very proud because it is Kove’s first pole and first podium, so I am very proud to have achieved it with them. I decided to leave Kawasaki because Kove presented me with a project in which I saw that they had a lot of ambition to do well, and I saw that the bike could be competitive. Right now, we are seeing that the bike is competitive, and I think that at the end of the year we will be able to achieve great results.”

Julio Garcia is partnered with 2017 Champion Marc Garcia this season, with Kove opting for a mix of youth and experience for their project. Somewhat ironically, Kove did get to start from pole during the weekend – just not when they first thought. Marc Garcia set the fastest lap in Race 1, giving him the best grid position for Race 2, although the #22 fell down the order before retiring on Lap 11 of 12. Nevertheless, both Garcias showed the potential of the Kove at different points.

Reacting to the podium, Kove’s long-term goals and opting to bring in both Julio and Marc Garcia, Team Manager Jesus Rincon said: “Personally, it is a sign that the project that started a year ago is beginning to bear fruit after a great effort from everyone. At the same time, it shows that we are going in the right direction. The goal has always been to be the first Chinese manufacturer to win a world title. They are two riders who have already demonstrated their great talent and who can fit together very well. Both have different riding styles and personalities, but they can work together and can offer a solid team. The goal is clearly to be with both riders at the front and to have them both fighting for the win in the Netherlands.”

Can Kove continue writing history? Watch more WorldSSP300 action throughout 2024 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!

Source: WorldSBK.com

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