While free practice on Friday for the WorldSSP300 riders was held in hot and sunny conditions, the weather would take a turn for the worse ahead of qualifying on Saturday. Superpole for Group A was run in mostly dry conditions, with Galang Hendra comfortably securing his grid slot for the main race, but it was a very different story for Group B, who had to qualify in the wet following a heavy rain shower.
The tricky conditions didn't faze VerdoÏa, who ended qualifying second on combined times to secure a front row start for Sunday's WorldSSP300 race. The same was true for Jacopo Facco, who also secured automatic entry for the race by qualifying inside the top 30, but Sabatucci, Beatriz Neila and Finn de Bruin were forced to fight for the final six grid slots in Saturday afternoon's Last Chance Race, having missed the cut in qualifying.
Held in wet conditions, the Last Chance Race saw 27 riders go head-to-head over 13 laps for the final six places on the grid for Sunday's WorldSSP300 race. Neila's challenge ended early, with the 17-year-old Spanish rider crashing out of second place just three laps into the race. Although she underwent a precautionary medical check following the crash, Neila was uninjured.
The wet conditions meant that de Bruin was missing the confidence needed to fight his way through the field and into the top six, but the Dutchman racked up more valuable experience on his way to finishing the race in 18th position.
One rider who certainly wasn't lacking in confidence was Sabatucci. The Italian started from 22nd position on the grid but had made up 11 places as he crossed the line to finish the opening lap. As the race progressed Sabatucci picked off one rider after another until, finally, he made contact with the leading group. The Italian made his move on the final lap, forcing his way to the front to take the win by the narrowest of margins and secure his place in Sunday's main WorldSSP300 race.
The hot and sunny conditions returned on Sunday as Verdoïa, Galang Hendra, Facco and Sabatucci rolled onto the grid for the WorldSSP300 race. For Facco, a collision and a crash involving three other riders on the opening lap brought his challenge to a premature end, but the remaining bLU cRU trio were in the thick of the action for the whole race.
Verdoïa and Galang Hendra managed to get into a six-rider group that were battling for the win throughout the race, having pulled away from the pursuing pack during the early stages. It proved a frantic battle, with all six riders taking their turn at the front before being overhauled by the group. It was a battle that went down to the wire, with the six main protagonists trying to out brake each other into the final corner before a drag race to the chequered flag. At the line it was Verdoïa who secured the final step on the podium, beating Galang Hendra to third place by the width of a wheel.
It was Verdoïa's first World Championship podium, and only the second by a French rider in the WorldSSP300 class - coincidentally, the first was by former bLu cRU rider, Hugo de Cancellis, in Aragon.
While Verdoïa and Galang Hendra were fighting it out at the front, Sabatucci was busy repeating his performance from the Last Chance Race. The Italian started from 30th position on the grid but fought his way through the field and into the top ten, eventually crossing the line in an impressive 9th place.