Diaz after epic 28th to 2nd comeback: "I think I can battle to win the Championship"

Wednesday, 27 April 2022 05:15 GMT

Diaz started from the tenth row of the grid in Race 2 and was denied victory in the Netherlands by just 0.002s

Race 2 for the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship at the TT Circuit Assen was full of drama as two riders made incredible comebacks during the Motul Dutch Round. Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team endured a difficult Tissot Superpole sessios on Saturday but responded in style on Sunday.

Diaz suffered from technical issues during the Superpole session which limited his running, with the Spanish rider posting a best time of 1’53.141s, the 29th best time in the session out of 32 riders. With Ton Kawakami (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) declared unfit for Race 2 after a Warm Up crash, Diaz was promoted to 28th on the grid. From 29th in Race 1, he was able to finish in 11th but he pulled off an even more epic comeback in Race 2.

On the final lap, heading into the Geert Timmer chicane that ends the lap of the iconic TT Circuit Assen, Diaz made his move for the lead of the race to try and seal what would’ve been an unlikely victory. On the run to the line, Diaz was pipped to victory by French rider Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) by just 0.002s; the closest finish in the history of WorldSSP300.

Reacting to his comeback, Diaz said: “It was a difficult race for me because I crashed in Superpole and I started 28th. I finish second. Very difficult race, a lot of riders battled with me. One more time in the podium. The Championship is long, but I think I can battle to win the Championship.”

After being denied victory in the closest-ever finish, Diaz now has the unfortunate record of finishing second in the two closest finishes of all time in WorldSSP300. In Race 2 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in 2021, the Spaniard, competing as a wildcard for that round, was denied his maiden victory by just 0.003s by Bahattin Sofuoglu. Diaz does lead the podium count in 2022 in WorldSSP300, having claimed three out of a possible four podiums, while he also led three races this season; again, the most of anybody in the WorldSSP300 field.

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