Starting on pole position and with his main title rival a whole eight rows behind, Scott Deroue (Motoport Kawasaki) was the odds-on favourite on Sunday to walk away from the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours as the 2018 FIM Supersport 300 World Champion.
The Dutchman was feeling as confident as ever as he lined up on the final grid of the year, ready to win his second race in a row and be crowned champion – but fate would have it otherwise. Three laps in his Ninja 400 suddenly slowed down, and as every rider strolled past Deroue the reality of the situation dawned on him. It was not to be, and he finishes third in the standings for a second year.
Deroue was understandingly devastated after the race: “We started the race really well, had a good start and I felt really strong. I wasn’t really nervous before the race because I knew I had the pace and that I had the opportunity to do it”.
“After three laps something in the gear lever broke”, he recalls. “It’s a shame, since it was in the engine it wasn’t really my team’s fault and it wasn’t really my fault. I’m just really disappointed about this”.
There is a silver lining for the Dutchman however, as he announced that he will remain on the World Supersport 300 grid next season: “I already signed for next year with the same team and for the same class. I’m really happy to do that, to work together with Kawasaki and with MTM again. We’ve learnt a lot from this year. I’ll stay with the same team, same guys, so we’ve already made a plan for next year to make the bike better. I think we can do a really good job next year”.
Will Deroue make it lucky number three? Find out as WorldSSP300 returns in 2019 – for now, relive the best moments of the 2018 season thanks to WorldSBK VideoPass.