The 2021 WorldSSP runner-up took five wins but will look to something new for 2022
With plenty of pieces of the 2022 FIM Supersport World Championship grid still to fall into place, one rider and team won’t be back together for the following season. Confirming on social media, Steven Odendaal will not be racing with the Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team in 2022, having enjoyed numerous wins throughout the 2021 season and finishing as Championship runners-up.
Odendaal’s season got off to a dream start with Fabio Evangelista’s team, with the South African taking a hat-trick of wins in the opening three races of the year. However, Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) soon found his feet and found his form, winning nine of the next ten races, with Odendaal only able to bounce back at Most. A final race win in Race 2 at Portimao kept Odendaal’s title hopes alive to San Juan in Argentina, but it was Aegerter who would prevail to return the WorldSSP crown to Ten Kate for the first time since 2010, ending the Evan Bros. Yamaha outfit’s two-season reign.
Posting on Instagram, Odendaal thanked the team for their efforts and ‘unforgettable’ 2021, whilst confirming they won’t be together for next season: “Thank you to the Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team for a year that I will never forget. In 2022 we will go our separate ways and I would like to wish them all the best.”
Shedding some light on his future, Odendaal has had offers in World Supersport and beyond: “Having finished 2nd in the overall standings this year, I’ve been approached by almost every team for 2022. However, as the current vice world champion, it came as a big surprise that I would be expected to bring capital to the team. On the other hand, I have received a very interesting offer from EWC which would be difficult to turn down.”
Although not confirming whether he would or would not be on the World Supersport grid, plenty of other riders are already locked in for the ‘next generation’ of WorldSSP. 10 riders from eight different nationalities are on the grid, with eight of them being rookies, including names such as ex-Moto2™ World Championship rider Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), Australia’s Oli Bayliss (Barni Racing Team) and 2021 and 2020 WorldSSP300 Champions Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) and Jeffrey Buis (G.A.P Motozoo by Puccetti).
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