Four of the five Champions in the short history of WorldSSP300 have been Spanish riders with Adrian Huertas becoming the latest Champion from Spain
Since the first FIM Supersport 300 World Championship campaign in 2017, there have been five different World Champions crowned with Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) after Race 1 at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve and while he is the latest Champion to be crowned, he is on a list of riders from Spain who have claimed the title with four out of the five Champions from Spain; Huertas’ 2021 teammate, Jeffrey Buis, the only Champion not to hail from the Iberian peninsula.
The Championship’s first season in 2017 was a tight affair between Marc Garcia and Alfonso Coppola, riding for Halcourier Racing and SK Racing respectively, with the Spanish rider taking the title by just a single point. Although Coppola was able to close the gap in the final race of the season at Jerez, Garcia held on to become the first-ever FIM Supersport 300 World Champion and kickstarted Spain’s glory in the Championship.
Spanish success followed in 2018 as Ana Carrasco, riding for the DS Junior Team, edged out Mika Perez from the Kawasaki ParkinGO Team; again, the margin just a single point. Carrasco’s success meant she became the first woman to win a motorcycle World Championship and it added to Spain’s success with Spain now providing two out of a possible two Champions in WorldSSP300.
A year on and it became three from three for Spain as Manuel Gonzalez, now a race winner in WorldSSP, took the title for Kawasaki ParkinGO Team. With the team having gone so close in 2017, Gonzalez was able to take them one step further in 2019 and bring home the title and, for the first time in WorldSSP300 history, the Championship was decided by more than a one-point margin and it was also wrapped up with a round to spare.
Spain’s run of consecutive Champions was ended in 2020 when Dutch rider Jeffrey Buis claimed the Championship for MTM Kawasaki, ahead of teammate Scott Deroue. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, and the subsequent change to two races per weekend, Buis was able to break many records in his title-winning campaign as he became the first non-Spanish rider to take the WorldSSP300 title.
Buis remained in WorldSSP300 after winning the Championship, like some other Champions before him had done, as he hoped to become the first rider to retain the WorldSSP300 title. With fresh challenges from teammate Huertas and Britain’s Tom Booth-Amos (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki), Buis’ title defence got off to a slow start with Huertas and Booth-Amos taking advantage to pull a clear gap over Buis. It had looked like being a two-horse race but a late surge from Buis, coupled with Booth-Amos missing three races due to injury, meant it was between Huertas and Buis in 2021; with Huertas coming out on top and taking the crown back to Spain where it has so often been.
You can re-watch some classic races from WorldSSP300 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!