The Czech Round provided Victor Steeman, the sole KTM runner in the field, a chance to break away from the chasing pack to claim his first win
The opening race of the Tissot Czech Round was a historic moment for both KTM and Victor Steeman (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team) as the Dutch rider claimed his first victory in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship while KTM were back on the top step for the first time since 2018 in Race 1 at the Autodrom Most.
Such was Steeman’s performance in Race 1 that it went into the record books as the fourth-largest margin of victory as he finished 5.340s clear of nearest rival Alejandro Carrion (Kawasaki GP Project). The win comes off the back of a strong run of form for the sole KTM rider in WorldSSP300, including five consecutive top-nine finishes.
Steeman claimed a stunning home pole position at the Dutch Round in front of his home fans last time out and followed that up with another pole position after Tissot Superpole at the Czech Round on WorldSSP300’s first visit to the Autodrom Most before he converted that into his first WorldSSP300 victory and KTM’s first win since the 2018 Dutch Round.
Reflecting on his first win, Steeman said: “The race was very good. I tried to make a gap from the start, but I made some mistakes, so they were behind me. All of a sudden, I had some good laps and could make a gap so that was really nice and then I focussed on my points. The bike was super good today, the team did an amazing job so I’m really happy with this first victory.”
Team Principal Carsten Freudenberg believes the Czech Round was one of the “best rounds in the team’s history” with Steeman backing up his pole position and Race 1 win with fourth place in Race 2, missing out on a second consecutive podium by just a tenth of a second behind Carrion. Spanish rider Carrion was third, with just 0.032s separating the trio on the podium, showing how close Steeman was to not just a second podium, but a second victory.
Freudenberg said: “It's a dream. My cell phone literally exploded! So many congratulations are amazing. That's the reward for all the hard work the team has put in. We have always believed in our package and have made many improvements. There are 44 riders at the start in the World Championship, one of them is KTM and she is right at the top! KTM is of course happy and congratulated us directly from the MotoGP™ in Spielberg. We can also compete for victories in the IDM, which shows that our KTM is absolutely competitive.
“Victor has also made huge leaps this year. He works so hard for success and always wants to improve. Fourth place in Race 2 is absolutely fine and probably rounds off the best World Championship weekend in our team’s history. In the Championship we came to Most in 13th place and can now record fifth place in the riders’ standings and a jump from 21st place to sixth in the teams’ standings. That is the success of the whole team! We can all be very proud of that! Especially after the manageable results in the last World Championship season, we turned everything from left to right and completely restructured our team.”
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