The teenager secured his first world title with a stellar performance at the Portuguese Round, ensuring he claimed the 2021 Championship with a race to spare
A fifth different Champion in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship was crowned in the fifth year of the Championship at the Motul Portuguese Round as Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) secured his first World Championship title and the second back-to-back for MTM Kawasaki riders, taking the title from teammate Jeffrey Buis in stunning fashion at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve.
Huertas joined the WorldSSP300 grid for the 2020 season and secured a best result of sixth in the rain-affected Magny-Cours Race 2, but a switch to MTM Kawasaki from ProGP Racing coincided with a step forward for the Spanish rider as he secured seven podiums in 15 races, including five victories. His number of wins in one season surpassed that of his teammate last year and became a record in WorldSSP300; an unpredictable Championship where a winning run is so often hard to maintain.
He fended off the challenge from Tom Booth-Amos (Fusport – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) throughout 2021 with the pair often sharing the podium together, while teammate Buis also mounted a late surge for the title. At both MotorLand Aragon races, Misano Race 1 and both Magny-Cours races, the duo would take to the rostrum together to keep the title fight as close as possible although Booth-Amos would be left to rue some last-lap errors in Misano and Assen, costing him valuable points: especially in Misano where he crashed at the last corner on the last lap from the lead of the race.
Huertas kickstarted his title challenge with three podiums, including two wins, in the first three races of the campaign at Aragon and Race 1 at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”, although his tenth place did extend his lead over Booth-Amos as the Briton crashed out from Race 2 from the lead.
A return to the podium awaited Huertas at the next race at the TT Circuit Assen in Race 1 before three races without a rostrum visit followed: Race 2 at Assen and both Race 1 and Race 2 at the Autodrom Most. Assen was also the venue for Buis’ home round and he kickstarted his title challenge here with a podium in Race 1 and fourth in Race 2, Booth-Amos stood on the podium in Race 2 which closed the Championship gap, but it was Huertas who prevailed when WorldSSP300 headed to France with the Spaniard taking two victories, with Booth-Amos in second, to extend the Championship lead.
Huertas extended his Championship lead over Booth-Amos even further during the Catalunya Round despite finish seventh in Race 1 and fourth in Race 2, gaining 22 points on Booth-Amos over the two races as the Briton crashed out from Race 1 and was declared unfit for Race 2. Buis, however, was able to gain a small amount of ground with his results, albeit still 65 points behind his teammate with 100 available across the final two rounds of the season.
With Booth-Amos declared unfit to contest the Motul Spanish Round at the Circuito de Jerez - Angel Nieto, Huertas faced the weekend with his first opportunity to take his first WorldSSP300 title. He was unable to take advantage of it on Saturday, finishing seventh in a race interrupted after the tragic accident that claimed the life of fellow countryman Dean Berta Viñales.
On Sunday, an emotional day due to the circumstances surrounding the competition, Huertas had his second opportunity to claim the 2021 title in Race 2. Only Buis could prevent him from being crowned in Jerez, but a retirement for Huertas in Race 2 in Jerez ensured the title battle would carry on until the final round of the campaign in Portimao.
After securing pole position at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, Huertas went on to finish in third place in Race 1 in Portugal as he claimed his first World Championship crown and to become the 2021 FIM Supersport 300 World Champion, an emotional day for Huertas and a day he declared he would never forget.
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