The changing face of riders challenging at the front in WorldSSP and WorldSSP300

Wednesday, 11 May 2022 05:13 GMT

Several riders have found themselves battling at the front across the two Championships with some surprises along the way

The two rounds of both the FIM Supersport World Championship and the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship have been full of shocks and surprises in 2022 with several riders challenging at the front of the field despite expectations being elsewhere. There have been first-time winners, riders visiting the rostrum for the first time and more across both Championships in a thrilling season so far.

In WorldSSP, Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team) has been a force to be reckoned with in his rookie campaign with three podiums, including one incredible victory, out of four races so far. The Italian rider has provided, along with Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), the challenge to Dominique Aegerter’s (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) crown in 2022.

Two riders have been consistently challenging for podium places, with Nicolo Bulega ( Racing WorldSSP Team) and Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) taking podiums so far. Bulega initially denied van Straalen a maiden podium at the final corner at Aragon in Race 2, before the Dutchman claimed his first podium in front of his home fans at Assen; although he was denied a sensational first win by Aegerter’s well-timed race-winning overtake in a red flagged Race 1. Italian rookie Stefano Manzi (Dynavolt Triumph) is also one making an impact in the early stages of the 2022 season on the new-for-2022 Street Triple RS machine, claiming three top-ten finishes in four races so far, including an incredible comeback from the back of the grid to eighth after a tyre pressure infringement on the grid in Race 2 at Aragon.

Three riders graduating from WorldSSP300 to WorldSSP for 2022 have also made an impact in the top ten. Reigning WorldSSP300 Champion Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) was instantly in the top ten when his WorldSSP career started, while Tom Booth-Amos (Prodina Racing WorldSSP) has also been fighting for the top ten positions. Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) has put on a show in the latter stages of the races as he battles his way into top ten contention.

In WorldSSP300, two riders have stolen the show with their comeback races and strong performances in 2022. Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) has one win and three podiums so far this season, missing out on a second win from the back of the grid by the barest of margins. Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) stunned at Aragon with two comebacks from the back of the grid to claim third place twice; matching KTM’s podium total between 2019 and 2021 in just two races.

Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) claimed his first podium at the 31st time of asking when he took third place in Race 2 at Assen as he showed his potential on the Yamaha, with Yamaha enjoying a strong start to the 2022 season. Gennai is not the only rider to have waited a long time before standing on the rostrum, with Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) ending a 43-race wait for victory, in Race 2 at Assen; De Cancellis is now the record holder for most races before claiming a maiden victory in WorldSSP300.

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