Save the best for last – this is how Steven Odendaal and his team EAB Ten Kate Racing decided to go into the final round of the 2020 World Supersport campaign in Estoril, Portugal. After a promising start on Friday, finishing in fifth position only 3 tenths of a second behind the leader, it was clear that the final double header of the year was going to be action-packed.
Steven Odendaal: (Race 1: 5th, Race 2: 4th): “I had a good feeling on Friday already, we found a good set up and were really close to the front. I qualified in 9th position (3rd row) in Superpole, which is still something we need to work on but I knew we had a good race pace. I had a really good battle for a 4th position in race 1 on Saturday. We kept swapping positions with Viñales, Oncu and Gonzalez which allowed the Top3 to pull a small gap. I finished 5th and moved up to 5th overall in the championship standings ahead of the last race, which was our objective for the weekend. I did think, however, that we needed to find a bit of extra speed for Sunday to fight for the podium. We tried some changes in warm-up and the result was our strongest performance of the year in race 2. We were in the leading group from start to finish and only missed out on a podium by 0.1 seconds. I also finished only a second behind the race winner for the first time in my rookie season in World Supersport. Whilst we did not get onto the podium today despite being so close, it is definitely encouraging to be heading into the winter break after a strong performance and with a 5th position in the overall world championship standings. It also gave me some extra motivation to work hard during the off season to come back and continue this momentum. The objective is to fight for the championship next year and I will do everything I can to achieve this goal. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to the whole team, especially Ferry, Kervin, Kor, Arnold, Remon all my personal sponsors that have been supporting me even in such challenging times with the COVID-19 pandemic, my manager Jorge and my whole family. I am already looking forward to being back on the bike next season. We are yet to announce our plans for 2021 but I will keep everyone updated as soon as I can.”