Vannucci takes maiden victory after epic final-lap shootout with Diaz in Misano

Saturday, 11 June 2022 11:37 GMT

The pair went head-to-head on the final lap but Vannucci was able to claim his first World Championship victory in stunning fashion

The FIM Supersport 300 World Championship battle went down to the wire as home hero Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) claimed an incredible first World Championship win from pole position at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”. Vannucci led most of the race but had to fend off a last-lap challenge from Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) to take victory.

A FIRST VICTORY: Vannucci holds on

Aside from the opening lap where he lost out at the start, Vannucci led throughout the 15-lap race from pole position, where he started after breaking the lap record in Tissot Superpole on Saturday. He was able to open up a gap of around two seconds during the race but soon found himself under pressure from Championship contender Diaz, who closed the gap and took the lead on the last lap. However, Vannucci was able to fight back on the run to the line to win by just 0.020s; the third time Diaz has missed out by the smallest of margins in WorldSSP300 with all three inside the top ten closest finishes in WorldSSP300.

Vannucci’s win gave him his first win in WorldSSP300 and the fourth Italian winner after Alfonso Coppola (VM Racing Team), who finished fourth as a wildcard today, Manuel Bastianelli and Kevin Sabautcci (Kawasaki GP Project), who finished 24th in Race 1 at Misano. He also claimed Italy’s first victory since Donington 2019 and became the 23rd different winner in the Championship’s history.

Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) claimed third place as he maintains his Championship challenge, with the top three separated by just two points; Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) on 102 points, Di Sora one point back and Diaz one point further back. Di Sora was able to withstand a late-race challenge from Coppola to claim his 11th podium finish in WorldSSP300.

BATTLING BACK: a mega fight for the top ten

Coppola had a seven second gap to Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) in fifth place after the Dutchman was penalised with a double Long Lap Penalty for jumping the start. Steeman had dropped down the order to the fringes of the points but was able to fight back for a top-five finish, ahead of Spanish rider Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing) and Dirk Geiger (Fusport-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki); Iglesias and Geiger were separated by just 0.034s at the end of the race.

Japanese rider Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki) finished in eighth place with a three-tenths margin over Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) with the Frenchman fending off a challenge from Ruben Bijman (MTM Kawasaki) to claim ninth place; Bijman was tenth after being given a Long Lap Penalty for irresponsible riding in Free Practice 2.

TAKING HOME POINTS: completing the top 15

Petr Svoboda (Accolade Smrz Racing) continued to show strong pace as he substitutes for Jose Luis Perez Gonzales as he finished in 11th place, three tenths clear of Garcia in 12th place; the Spanish rider’s gap in the standings cut by strong results for Diaz and Di Sora. Alessandro Zanca (Kawasaki GP Project) claimed 13thplace; the third time in a row he has finished there. Alex Millan (SMW Racing) was 14th as he picked up yet another points finish with Marco Gaggi (Vinales Racing Team) rounding out the points with 15th place. 

TO NOTE FROM RACE 1: housekeeping from Misano

Bruno Ieraci (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) crashed out at Turn 4 on Lap 1 of the race although the Italian, who was given a Long Lap Penalty for irresponsible riding in Race 2 at the Estoril Round, re-joined the race before retiring from the race. After looking for another podium in the 2022 season, Mirko Gennai’s (Team BrCorse) hope of home success was ended on Lap 1 after he had a crash after tagging wildcard Mattia Martella (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) at Turn 11. Martella’s race ended a lap later when he was involved in a crash with Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) at Turn 14 with both riders retiring. Following their respective crashes, Gennai and Lehmann were taken to the medical centre for a check-up. On Lap 3, Iker Garcia Abella (Yamaha MS Racing) crashed out at Turn 16, something Harry Khouri (Fusport-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) repeated a lap later. Following a crash in the early stages of the race, Fenton Seabright (Vinales Racing Team) retired from the race after re-joining following his Turn 5 crash.

The top six following WorldSSP300 Race 1, full results here:

1. Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha)

2. Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) +0.020s

3. Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flemmbo) +0.465s

4. Alfonso Coppola (VM Racing Team) +0.556s

5. Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) +7.575

6. Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing) +8.260s

Fastest lap: Victor Steeman, Kawasaki – 1’48.793 (New Lap Record)

Watch Sunday’s WorldSSP300 action in style from Warm Up at 09:50 Local Time (GMT+2) on Sunday using the WorldSBK VideoPass!