The Dutchman was fastest in both sessions on Friday and converted that into a record-breaking pole position in France
The FIM Supersport World Championship all-time lap record at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours was obliterated by Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) on his way to pole position for the Pirelli French Round, as he went a full second under the existing record in Tissot Superpole set by 2021 Champion Adrian Huertas. Steeman finished more than six tenths clear of his rivals in France for the fifth pole position of his career.
CAN ANYONE STOP STEEMAN? Topping every session so far…
Steeman topped both FP1 and FP2 in difficult conditions on Friday and converted that into pole position on Saturday, with the Dutchman able to set quick enough lap times while lapping on his own. He did catch a group on track during the session and used the slipstream advantage to post a 1’51.859s, the only rider in the 1’51s bracket, to take pole by more than six tenths. Steeman’s pole ties him for the all-time pole position in WorldSSP300 with five, held with Mika Perez.
He will line up on the front row alongside Dirk Geiger (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) in second, with the German rider also taking his strong Friday pace into Saturday, and Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) in third place; Gennai was 0.061s back from Steeman. Both Geiger and Gennai were under the existing lap record, but Steeman’s time was exactly 1.000s faster than the previous record.
FROM THE SECOND ROW: a close field in Superpole
Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) claimed fourth spot in Superpole and he was a tenth behind compatriot Gennai, just missing out on a front row starting spot. He will be joined on the second row by two Spaniards, with Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing) in fifth and Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) with Garcia hoping to close the gap in the Championship throughout the French Round, with Garcia starting ahead of all but one of his Championship rivals.
COMPLETING THE TOP TEN: Championship leader just in the top ten…
Gabriele Mastroluca (ProGP Racing) took seventh place, around a tenth of a second behind Garcia in the classification, while Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) was two tenths back from Mastroluca in eighth place. Spanish duo Daniel Mogeda (Team#109 Kawasaki) and Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) rounded out the top ten; Diaz claimed his first top ten Superpole result since Estoril, although he is on a run of four podiums in four races despite starting below the third row. In Race 1, Mogeda will start at the back of the grid after he was penalised for irresponsible riding in Superpole.
HOUSEKEEPING: to note from Superpole
Ton Kawakami (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) took 15th place in Superpole, ahead of teammate Humberto Maier, but will start Race 1 from the back of the grid after being penalised for irresponsible riding during Free Practice 1. Iker Garcia Abella (Yamaha MS Racing) and Alex Millan (SMW Racing) will also start from the back of the grid in Race 1 after taking 18th and 27th respectively in Superpole, after being sanctioned for irresponsible riding in Superpole.
The top six following WorldSSP300 Superpole, full results here:
1. Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) 1’51.859
2. Dirk Geiger (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) +0.661s
3. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) +0.961s
4. Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) +1.060s
5. Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing) +1.159s
6. Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) +1.223s
Watch WorldSSP300 Race 1 from 12:40 Local Time (GMT+1) using the WorldSBK VideoPass!