Two home heroes claimed victories as the 2022 season kicked off at MotorLand Aragon
The FIM Supersport 300 World Championship kicked off at MotorLand Aragon with 2017 Champion Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) and Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) sharing the wins during the Pirelli Aragon Round as the season started with two incredible races at the Spanish venue.
Garcia and Diaz both started from the front row for both Race 1 and Race 2, with Garcia claiming his first pole position since Jerez in 2017 and Diaz in third place from Tissot Superpole with just two tenths separating the pair at the end of the Superpole session. The pair ended up with one win and one second place each over the course of the weekend, leaving Aragon tied on points with Diaz leading the Championship by virtue of his win being more recent.
22-year-old Garcia claimed a commanding Race 1 victory on home soil as he won by 4.479s ahead of Diaz. It was Garcia’s first win since Race 2 at Magny-Cours in 2020 as the Spanish rider started off the 2022 season looking to become the first rider to win two WorldSSP300 titles having been crowned the inaugural Champion in 2017. He then challenged for the victory again in Race 2 but lost out to compatriot Diaz as he came home in second place, picking up 45 points out of a possible 50 at Aragon.
Discussing his weekend, Garcia said: “Race 2 was completely different with many riders trying to slow me down compared to Race 1, to not allow me to take a gap. In this category, there are many riders trying to do their best trying to fight for the first positions but it’s very difficult to manage the last laps with many riders. You can win or you can stay in tenth place. I think, this year, we are working very well with Yamaha and also my team. I think we are going in the right direction.”
Diaz showed his speed in Superpole when he claimed third place on the grid, his highest-ever Superpole results in WorldSSP300, before constantly fighting at the front of the field in Race 1 to secure his second podium in the Championship. Race 2 was another hard-fought battle, but Diaz was able to escape away in the closing stages of the race to win ahead of Garcia by 3.591s for his first win in WorldSSP300.
Diaz was left speechless following his first win on the world stage. He said: “The truth is that it was a dream weekend to start the season like this with my team. We have worked very hard to achieve it, but until it is achieved, one is not aware that it is happening. I have pushed very hard to achieve it, and I know that we can be at this level in the rest of the races, here we face the best in the world, but me and my team will do our best to continue this trend. Winning here at MotorLand has been incredible in front of all the fans and people who support me, so I couldn't be more proud and grateful to those who make it possible.”
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