Diaz Puts One Hand on 2022 WorldSSP300 Title in Barcelona
In the penultimate round of the 2022 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship campaign at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, bLU cRU graduate Alvaro Diaz’s second and fourth-place finishes means he leaves Spain with an almost insurmountable 50-point lead in the standings.
After scoring his 10th podium of the season in Race 1, Diaz was in the top three fight once again on Sunday. With Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) pulling clear out front, the Spanish youngster needed to finish third to wrap up the championship, but narrowly missed out by 0.048s.
Diaz’s results this weekend puts him 50 points clear of Steeman in the title battle, meaning he needs to score just one point at the Portimao finale to be crowned world champion.
After being shuffled back to 10th in the frenetic final lap in Race 1, Mirko Gennai was back onto the podium in Race 2. The Italian executed a perfectly timed charge to second on the run to the line, but was handed a one-place penalty for exceeding track limits.
Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup graduate Humberto Maier enjoyed his best WorldSSP300 weekend to date, backing up his fifth-place finish on Saturday with a fine ride to sixth in Race 2.
Aldi Mahendra starred on his world championship debut in Montmeló, and was part of the lead battle in both races. The Indonesian youngster rode like a veteran of the series, finishing seventh and eighth, just a few tenths off the podium in both.
Elsewhere, it was a disappointing weekend for Yamaha MS Racing’s Marc Garcia, who fell out of the title battle after his first non-scoring round of the season. Meanwhile, 2022 Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup winner Enzo Valentim didn’t manage to set a time in the Superpole after an early crash, but made good progress from the back of the grid in his second WorldSSP300 outing.
Alvaro Diaz: P2 & P4
“It was an incredible weekend. There were so many riders in the group that today was difficult, but I’m really happy because now I just need one point to take the championship title. The work done with my team this weekend and throughout the season has been amazing, so thanks to them again. The title wasn’t possible here, but I’m now focused on the final round at Portimao.”
Mirko Gennai: P10 & P3
“It was a very difficult race for me, starting from P14. I found it difficult to make progress, but in the last laps I was able to overtake a few and get to second. I touched the green on the final lap and lost the place, but third is still great. I had a new teammate for this race, Aldi, and he looked a very strong rider, so I wish him the best for the future. In Portimao, I really want to get the win, this is the last two chances of 2022 so I will push for it.”