Speechless Huertas reflects on Championship win: "This title means a lot… I am in shock!"

Saturday, 2 October 2021 15:38 GMT

The Spanish rider clinched the 2021 WorldSSP300 Championship with a podium in Race 1 during the Championship’s final round of the campaign in Portimao

The 2021 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship title battle was decided after Race 1 at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve as Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) claimed his first World Championship title during the Motul Portuguese Round, taking the title from teammate Jeffrey Buis who was the only rider who could prevent Huertas winning the 2021 title during the final round of the campaign.

Huertas came into Race 1 with a 36-point advantage over Buis and knew if he finished Race 1 more than 25 points clear of his teammate, he would be crowned Champion with one race to go. The title was decided on Lap 9 when Buis made contact with the back of Huertas’ bike as they battled for the lead with the Dutchman and reigning Champion forced to retire from the race; meaning Huertas’ result was irrelevant as Buis would not be able to make up the points required to keep the battle running until Sunday.

Reflecting on his 2021 season, and winning the World Championship, Huertas said: “This title means a lot. My last year has been really hard. The team gave me the opportunity so I’m very grateful to them. This is great. I have no words at the moment. I am in shock. For me, it isn’t real. Probably tonight, when I’m on the bed, and I will say ‘oh f**k, I’m World Champion.’ I’m really happy. I want to get some more opportunities next year because of this. We are all one big family, this is not just mine, it is for all of them. I have no more words because I just want to enjoy it with them.”

Throughout 2021, Huertas’ main rival was Britain’s Tom Booth-Amos (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) with the duo combining to take seven out of the 15 races run to date; Huertas on five and Booth-Amos on two. Booth-Amos also crashed out at the final corner of Race 2 at Misano while leading the race, but the crucial moment for his title charge came in Catalunya when he crashed out of Race 1 and sustained an injury requiring surgery, meaning he missed Race 2 in Catalunya and both Jerez races. In the second half of the season, teammate Buis found the form that he showed in his title-winning campaign in 2020 which allowed him to put pressure on Huertas, but it was too late for the reigning Champion with Huertas’ advantage.

Discussing his title rivals, Huertas said: “I am really sad for Tom, because we have been working, fighting and so on all year. I am really sad for his crash and that he’s been out. I think he deserves to be second because we have been fighting all the time. This is racing. You can get an injury, as I had a lot of times. In the first part of the race, I was focused on winning and that’s all. Finally, when I saw Jeffrey touched me, I had a look back because I didn’t know what the problem was. Someone touched me. He crashed, I’m really sad for him because he had been having a good race.”

Watch the final race of the 2021 WorldSSP300 season in style from 15:15 Local Time (GMT+1) tomorrow using the WorldSBK VideoPass!