Up for grabs: WorldSSP300’s triple-header kicks off with Barcelona encounter

Wednesday, 15 September 2021 05:50 GMT

The first of three rounds back-to-back gets underway with a Barcelona battle with Championship positions, including the title, still to be decided…

The sixth round of the 2021 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship takes place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with everything still up for grabs after a thrilling campaign to date and with just three rounds to go everything is still up for grabs in the final stretch of the season as the Hyundai N Catalunya Round kickstarts a run of three rounds in three weeks to round off the 2021 campaign.


Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) heads into the Catalunya Round top of the standings and 21 points clear of Tom Booth-Amos (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) after claiming two victories last time out at Magny-Cours, with Booth-Amos just one place back in both races. In the 2020 Catalunya Round, Huertas claimed one of his best results of the season with ninth in Race 2 while Race 1 was also the scene of Booth-Amos’ first win on the world stage. With both riders having good form in Barcelona, albeit with only one round run, the Catalunya Round is set up for an incredible battle involving the two protagonists. Last year, MTM Kawasaki made history when they claimed a 1-2-3-4 finish in Race 2 and, with only one change in the rider line-up since then, will be hoping they are just as competitive this season.


After a 25th place finish in Race at Magny-Cours in Race 1, and despite a podium in Race 2, Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) finds himself now 77 points back from teammate Huertas at the top of the standings. To keep himself in with a chance of retaining his title in 2021, he will need to ensure he leaves the Catalunya Round with less than a 100-point deficit to the Championship leader. Buis, however, is tied up in an incredibly tight battle for third in the Championship with French rider Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) just five points behind Buis. Di Sora claimed his first ever WorldSSP300 podium at the venue last season when he took second in Race 1 and will be looking for more of the same a year on from the Championship’s first visit to the venue. Like Buis, Di Sora could be out of Championship contention if he leaves Catalunya more than 100 points behind whoever leads the Championship after Race 2.


All but one rider in the top ten of the Championship is riding Kawasaki machinery with Victor Steeman (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team) currently occupying fifth place as the sole KTM rider on the full-time grid. 2021 will be Steeman’s and KTM’s first visit to Barcelona after not competing in the 2020 round, but with strong form shown so far in 2021, Steeman will be hoping to repeat that in Barcelona. For the 2021 Catalunya Round, there will be two KTMs on the grid as Steeman is joined by German rider Lennox Lehmann. Steeman sits only eight points clear of Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki) in the Championship and it was Okaya who led home MTM Kawasaki’s 1-2-3-4 finish last season; claiming his first and only win to date so far in WorldSSP300. Could we see a change in the standings following the Catalunya Round?

Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Team WorldSSP300) lies seventh in the standings and just six points behind Okaya as the riders look to finish as high as possible. With two podiums to his name in the 2021 season, can De Cancellis keep up his strong form to claim a top-five Championship finish for the first time in his WorldSSP300 career? Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki) is just four points behind De Cancellis in the standings and will be looking to change last year’s fortune in 2021: he was the only MTM rider who did not stand on the podium throughout the 2020 Catalunya Round. With a sole podium to his name in 2021, Meuffels will be looking to add to that to jump up the order in the closing stages of the season.


After a strong French Round last time out, Dean Berta Viñales and the whole Viñales Racing Team outfit will be hoping to build on that at their home race. Viñales claimed his first points in Race 1 in France before finishing an incredible fourth place in Race 2 and the 15-year-old will be hoping he can keep taking steps forward as the 2021 campaign starts to reach its conclusion.

Alvaro Diaz Cebrian (Arco-Motor University Team) joins the grid for his WorldSSP300 debut as a one event rider on board Yamaha machinery for the Catalunya Round. The Spanish rider currently competes in the Spanish championship in the junior class and leads the standings by four points ahead of Yeray Ruiz (Yamaha MS Racing), who returns for his second round of 2021. Diaz Cebrian competed at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in the domestic Championship, picking up two victories.

Watch all the action from Catalunya in WorldSSP300 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!