2017 WorldSSP300 Misano - Riviera di Rimini
Coppola on the Podium as bLU cRU Riders Impress at Misano
Yamaha R3 bLU cRU Challenge rider Alfonso Coppola recorded his third podium of the season as he crossed the line in third after an excellent battle at Misano for round five of the 2017 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship. Robert Schotman continued his progress as he recorded his best result of the season in fifth. Mykyta Kalinin finished in eighth to make it three bLU cRU riders inside the top ten, with Enzo De La Vega picking up his first championship point in 15th. Renzo Ferreira fought bravely to secure his best result of the season in 22nd, while Kimi Patova unfortunately crashed out of the race.
Coppola maintained his status as the leading bLU cRU rider, securing third after an excellent race-long fight between a leading group of six. The 19-year-old Italian topped Friday's free practice and then qualified in fifth for Sunday's race. When the lights went out he was immediately involved in the battle for the victory, timing his last-lap charge perfectly to take third at the very last corner and only just missing out on the race win by 0.137s. Unfortunately, Coppola had his Donington Park race win taken away from him by the FIM due to a technical infringement and is now fourth in the championship table with 57 points, 18 behind the championship leader.
Schotman built on his sixth-place finish (later promoted to fifth) at Donington park by securing his first front row start on Saturday in Superpole 2. The 18-year-old Dutch rider was determined to secure his first podium from third on the grid and relished the chance to battle at the front in the leading group during the race. On a dramatic last-lap he was in third coming into the last corner, but lost out to a couple of aggressive moves from other riders, brilliantly recovering to cross the line in fifth to record his best finish of the season. This result sees Schotman jump up to ninth in the championship standing with 29 points.
Mykyta Kalinin, podium finisher at Imola, started the race from 13th on the grid and found himself embroiled in the battle for seventh in the chasing pack. Timing his charge superbly on the last lap he battled past a number of riders to secure seventh. The 17-year-old Ukrainian rider now has 24 points and is 12th overall in the championship.
17-year-old French rider Enzo De La Vega had his best weekend of the season. Starting from 17th on the grid he rode superbly to secure his first championship points, crossing the line in 15th place and he is now 28th in the overall championship standings.
Renzo Ferreira started from 26th on the grid and battled through to secure 22nd place as the 15-year-old Brazilian continues the search for his first championship point. Kimi Patova qualified in 32nd but unfortunately crashed out on the opening lap at Turn 4. The 15-year-old Finnish rider is 22nd overall in the championship with 5 points.
Incredibly there were nine Yamaha YZF-R3s in the top ten, rounding up another dominant weekend for Yamaha, and they now lead the manufacturer standings with 101 points with a lead of 9 points over their nearest rival.
The six Yamaha R3 bLU cRU Challenge riders will be back in action for round six of the 2017 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship in Germany at the Lausitzring on the 18th-20th of August.
Team SK WorldSSP300 - 3rd +0.137s
"I am very happy for this race! Qualifying was very tough, everyone was very fast and the hot conditions made it tricky this weekend. I want to thank my team who did some great work on the bike I felt very good for the race. The other bikes were very fast, and it was difficult to pass and break away, so I tried to keep calm and think of the championship. In the end, it was a very good result, and I look forward to the next race in Germany."
GRT Yamaha WorldSSP300 Team - 5th +0.666s
"It was great to secure my first front row start, I am very happy about this! In the race, on the first lap I managed to get into second straight away and for 4-5 laps I was just following Perez because he had a really good pace and I thought we might be able to create a gap to the guys behind. Six of us managed to break away at the front and there was an excellent fight with lots of overtakes and I was in the middle of the group. On the last lap, I was in P4 and I tried to make a move, I managed to get into third, but two riders overtook me in the last corner. I am a little bit disappointed I didn't get my first podium, but overall I am very happy about the weekend. It was one of my strongest weekends of the year, so I am already looking forward to the next races to continue this progression and I am sure I will get on the podium before the end of the season!"
Team MotoX Racing - 8th +9.252s
"I am not so happy as I could have got a better result. During the race, riders split into groups, and I was in the chasing pack It was impossible to catch the leaders, so I was fighting for seventh position and at this track, it's a bit of a lottery. You can be as fast as you want, but on the long straight the slipstream means that everyone could overtake each other. If the best I could do was seventh, then I am happy that I finished in eighth, it's not a bad result and I showed good pace. I will now go spend the break preparing for the next race, and I cannot wait to get back out on track."
Enzo De La Vega
GRT Yamaha WorldSSP300 Team - 15th +17.810s
"I am very happy to get my first championship point, but I was not that happy during the race as I didn't have a good feeling with the rear of my bike. It was moving around a lot in the heat, but I managed to get my first point, so it can't be that bad! I was involved in a race-long battle with other riders, with lots of aggressive overtakes, which I enjoyed. I have not been to the Lausitzring, but I have been learning the track on my PlayStation and I can't wait to ride it for real! I would like to say a big thanks to my team, Yamaha, and my sponsors Ixon, Shark, Best of Bike, and Marina Paradise!"