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Oct 1, 2018

World Supersport 300: Ana Carrasco Makes History At Magny-Cours

Ana Carrasco, the 2018 FIM Supersport 300 World Champion.

More, from a press release issued by Dorna WSBK Press Office:

Ride like a girl: Carrasco makes history to become WorldSSP300 Champion

First female world champion crowned at Magny-Cours

At just 21 years of age, Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team) has made history in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship as she secured the world title in the final race of the season at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. Becoming the first female to secure a world title, her performance this season has been nothing short of stunning, and it will be one that won’t be forgotten in a while.

Beginning her career in 2011, the Spanish sensation began in the CEV 125 championship and her points scoring performances saw her secure a seat in the Moto3™ World Championship for 2013. Making the move over to WorldSSP300 in 2017, she has been showered in success.

Returning to the scene of her historical debut victory, Carrasco signed off the title with an impressive fight in France. But she hasn’t had a totally smooth season, which makes the achievement an even stronger one. In an unpredictable championship such as WorldSSP300, her tenacious racing nature and skill have got her to the top.

Beginning the season at MotorLand Aragon, the Spaniard took a top six finish in her debut with the DS Junior Team but was only 0.4s off the race winner. With a strong pace established on-board the Kawasaki Ninja 400, she then headed straight to Assen with points to prove. Crossing the line in fourth position around the historic circuit, she was again just over half a second behind the race winner as the unpredictable nature of a final WorldSSP300 lap can make for a difficult race.

But it was the third round of the season around Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola that ignited her title chances, winning the 11 lap race by a dominant 11 seconds over her rivals. Leaving them for dust, Carrasco put on a sensational performance under the Italian sunshine and left with a three point championship lead.

Carrasco’s sensational form continued over to Donington Park, which is a very different style of circuit to Imola, proving her pace was there to stay. Crossing the line this time by a mere four seconds ahead of the rest, the 21 year old was looking unstoppable as they hit the half way point of the season. Stretching out her championship lead to 22 points, it was hers to throwaway.

However, she faced two tough races in the upcoming rounds and it was a big challenge for the rider from Murcia. Only able to leave Automotodrom Brno with a top 11 finish, and Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli with a top 10, Carrasco entered the summer break with a 16 point championship lead and two races remaining.

With strong memories of Portimao from her debut victory in 2017, she was ready for the battle and prepared to seal the title in Portugal. But the luck didn’t fall in her favour in the penultimate round of the season, and the fight continued on to France. Heading to the final round with a 10 point lead, Carrasco put on a memorable performance to prove she was the worthy champion.

In an emotional display following the 12 lap battle, Carrasco will forever go down in history as she became the first female to take a world title, with a 13th position finish in France.

Congratulate Carrasco and celebrate the history maker using #UnstoppableAna

Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team)

"Its unbelievable for me, we worked so hard to be here. I can only say thank you to all the Kawasaki team, I can only say thank you to David Salom and all the team, they worked hard to help me arrive here and also to my family because they gave me everything this year, and my friends. I wanted to dedicate this title to Luis Salom, we were good friends and the day we lost him I promised myself to dedicate my first title to him."

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Carrasco Wins After Incredible Season Finale

Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) became the first female winner of a full FIM World Championship road-racing category when she finished just one single point ahead of her closest rival in the WorldSSP300 championship race at Magny Cours.

Starting in a lowly 25th position on the grid Carrasco was involved in a fight for 20th place for much of the race but she made progress to 19th spot. In the closing laps she moved to a 13thplace that would be enough to give her a one-point lead over Mika Perez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) in the final points table.

Perez was in a position to win the championship himself on the last sector of the final lap but his race leading position was taken from him with two corners to go, and his 20 points were not quite enough to give him the crown.

Carrasco was unaware that she had won the championship on her slowdown lap almost until her team stopped her for a trackside celebration, with her championship-winning T-shirt having the phrase ‘Ride Like A Girl” emblazoned on the front. In her post-race interview Carrasco dedicated her championship win to the late Moto2 rider Luis Salom, who was a friend of Ana’s and the cousin of David Salom, her team manager.

In another astonishingly close and battling WorldSSP300 race, Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki) was also in contention for both the race and title wins until he was forced out with a technical issue.

Perez and Deroue battled it out for the championship up front but when Deroue suddenly slowed with problems changing gear, Perez was in the lead. He was then the driving seat for the championship itself until Daniel Valle ambushed him in the final two turns. Perez lost out on the title by just 0.168 seconds, in a race that was so close that Carrasco, in 13th place, was only 2.468 seconds behind the race winner.

Kawasaki wrapped up the championship at the previous round, and finally ended up with a 61-point advantage at the end of the eight round championship.

Nick Kalinin (GP Project Kawasaki was seventh today, but front row qualifier Robert Schotman (Motoport Kawasaki) did not finish. Enzo de la Vega (GP Project Team Kawasaki) led the race twice but finished ninth, while Dorren Loureiro (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) tenth. Tom Edwards (Nutec - Benjan Kawasaki) was another non-finisher.

In the final championship standings Carrasco has 93 points, Perez 92 and Deroue 80, putting three Kawasaki Ninja 400 riders in the top three positions overall.

Ana Carrasco, stated: “It is unbelievable to win the championship and we worked so hard to be here. I did not know I had won on the slowdown lap. I tried to see some TVs to check but I did not see any. I only realised when I got to turn five and I asked the spectators if I was first. I can only say thank you to a David Salom and all the Kawasaki DS Junior Team, it is for all of them. I also want to say thank you to my family who have done so much for me. I want to dedicate this title to Luis Salom. The day we lost him I promised to dedicate my first title to him. At the moment I am happy because we have achieved our goals, but I do not realise all of the things about being the first woman in history. I think after a few days I will be more conscious of this.”

Mika Perez, stated: “I gave my maximum today. I knew it was win or crash, and finally I got second. I tried everything and the team did a great job. We were very close to the win but we have to congratulate Ana and the race winner Dani because they did an incredible job.”

Scott Deroue, stated: “We had a really good weekend until now and I think we were one of the fastest. Every session we were in the top positions so I was feeling really good. I felt the same in the race and I was in the top three all the time. Then with seven laps to go my gear lever broke and it was over. We had good speed this season and were really consistent but in Misano we had a problem and today we were supposed to finish on the podium again, and then this happens.”

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