PREVIEW: WorldSSP300 set for more box-office gloves-off scrapping at Assen

A barn-storming Barcelona kickstarted the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship and round two from Assen promises to bring more awesome action their way. Each year, the TT Circuit Assen brings some of the most frantic racing we get to enjoy in World Supersport 300 and 2024 will be no exception; home-hero Jeffrey Buis (Freudenberg KTM-PALIGO Racing) will be sure to put on a special home display but he’ll have to fight off a huge opposition, as well as in-form Championship leader Inigo Iglesias (Fusport-RT Motorsport by SKM-Kawasaki).

IGLESIAS VS BUIS: a fight to behold this weekend, Mahendra, Svoboda and Di Sora contenders

Inigo Iglesias crossed the line first in Race 1 in Barcelona but lost his win due to a penalty for irresponsible riding but the Basque rider wasn’t going to take it lying down, with redemption in Race 2. He therefore is joint-Championship leader alongside Aldi Mahendra (Team BrCorse) with 28 points each. Jeffrey Buis however is the other winner so far in 2024, inheriting Barcelona’s first outing after Iglesias’ penalty, although he didn’t score any points in Race 2. Three points split all three riders heading to Assen, a circuit where Buis has just one podium, Iglesias was a winner at in the IDM300 series last year and where Mahendra has never raced. In fact, there’s only one rider in WorldSSP300 who has multiple wins at the track in the class: Petr Svoboda (Fusport-RT Motorsport by SKM-Kawasaki), who won both 2023 races. He’s fourth overall, just ahead of Barcelona podium finisher Samuel Di Sora (ARCO SASH MotoR University Team), who has three Assen rostrums but no win.

FOUR MANUFACTURERS IN CONTENTION: Kove shining as big names look to improve

Sixth overall and flying the flag for Chinese manufacturer Kove, Julio Garcia (KOVE Racing Team) took a hard-fought podium in Race 2 last time out and had pole too, showcasing the strength and potential of the 321RR. He scored points at Assen last year but it was a circuit he struggled at, whilst Bruno Ieraci (Team ProDina Kawasaki) is next up in P7 and has a best of seventh at Assen from 2019. Mirko Gennai (MTM Kawasaki), Daniel Mogeda (Team#109 Retro Traffic Kawasaki) and Ruben Bijman (Team Flembbo-PL Performances) complete the top ten. Gennai disappointed on his debut with Kawasaki in Barcelona, whereas Mogeda just missed a rostrum in Race 2. For Bijman, he had good pace across the weekend, particularly in the races and his home round will be an opportunity to fight for a first WorldSSP300 podium. Four manufacturers on the podium in the first two races, Assen could be the most unpredictable Dutch Round yet – even with 20 different podium finishers before!

OUTSIDE THE TOP 10: Barcelona struggles to Assen amazement?

Perhaps not a struggle for Marco Gaggi (Team BrCorse) but a solid start in Barcelona is something to build on for round two, whereas it was a poor showing from Loris Veneman (MTM Kawasaki), who never really got going at the season-opener. With this being his home round, expect him to be back at the pointy end. It was a story of what could’ve been for Unai Calatayud (ARCO SASH MotoR University Team), after he was taken out in Race 1 but fought back for P6 in Race 2 after leading for much of the race. Galang Hendra Pratama ProGP NitiRacing) is always one to watch, as is Marc Garcia (KOVE Racing Team), whilst the likes of Elia Bartolini (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSSP300 Team) and David Salvador (MS Racing) both seek improvements after getting their debuts bagged. As always, keep an eye out for Britain’s Fenton Seabright (Kawasaki GP Project) who is always in the leading group and Jose Osuna (DEZA-BOX 77 Racing Team), who wants a first top ten of 2024.

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