The 2021 WorldSSP300 title could be wrapped up this weekend, and Championship leader Adrian Huertas will lead the charge from the front
The 20-minute FIM Supersport 300 World Championship fired into life at the Motul Spanish Round on Saturday at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto, with blissful sunshine beaming down on the track. It’s a crucial weekend in the class as Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) goes for his first World Championship, something he can achieve today in Race 1. The Tissot Superpole session saw the day start well for the Champion-elect, taking a second career pole.
FIRST LAPS: times dialled in…
With the first times coming in within the first five minutes, Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) was the fastest time, whilst Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Yamaha Motoxracing) was in second and Jeffrey Buis (MTM Kawasaki) third. Other riders such as Bruno Ieraci (Prodina Team WorldSSP300), Gabriele Mastroluca (ProGP Racing) and Alvaro Diaz Cebrian (Arco-Motor University Team) were all showing their pace too. With just less than ten minutes to go and just over the half-session distance, Meikon Kawakami (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) and Marc Garcia (Prodina Team WorldSSP300) were at the top, ahead of Sofuoglu, although the Turk soon got to the top and set the fastest lap of the weekend in the class so far.
THE FRONT ROW: Championship leader vs the form-man
However, the times kept on coming in and the positions continued to change, with Adrian Huertas going to the top and just two tenths of a second outside of the outright lap record. With nobody else able to challenge Huertas, the Spaniard was able to take his second career pole, pipping Bahattin Sofuoglu in second and Meikon Kawakami in third, the Brazilian rider crashing at Turn 10 on the final lap of the session but staying in third for his first front row. With his pole position, Huertas takes the Tissot Superpole Award for 2021 in WorldSSP300, showcasing his consistency in Superpole, whilst the front row gap in WorldSSP300 at Jerez is 0.340s covering the top three.
BEST OF THE REST: completing the top ten
Row two is headed up by Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing), who took pole last time out at Catalunya. The Spaniard fended off fellow countryman Marc Garcia, who took his best result of the year in fifth which is his first top ten of the season. Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) completes the second row, with the Italian taking his best Superpole result of the season by a country mile, his previous best being 22nd at Most. With four Kawasakis inside the top six, the 2021 WorldSSP300 Manufacturers’ Champions continue to flex their muscles and show their strength.
Returning to action in style, Bruno Ieraci was seventh, also his best Superpole result of the season, whilst Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki) took his third top ten Superpole starting position of the year. Having been at the top at the very start of the session, Samuel Di Sora was ninth and completes the third row for a second consecutive round, although four of his six career podiums have come the third row or worse. Completing the top ten, Dean Berta Viñales (Viñales Racing Team) was once again impressive, taking his best grid position of 2021 in tenth and aiming to claim a first podium.
BIG NAMES: those out of position
Outside of the top ten, Huertas’ main Championship challenger going into the races, Jeffrey Buis, could only manage 12th as he was held up in the final sector, preventing him from moving up to what was forecasted to be the front row. With two poles in 2021 so far, Victor Steeman (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team) could only put his RC 390 R in 14th place. Daniel Mogeda (Team#109 Kawasaki) is a bit out of position compared to recent rounds, with 23rd ahead of races, whilst race lap record holder Koen Meuffels (MTM Kawasaki) was just 25th. Meanwhile, it was a disaster for Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300) as she could only manage 32nd. Another crasher in the session was Sylvain Markarian (Leader Team Flembbo) at Turn 13 but he was all OK, finishing in 28th overall.
Top six after Tissot Superpole in WorldSSP300, full results here:
1. Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) 1’52.289s
2. Bahattin Sofuoglu (Biblion Yamaha Motoxracing) +0.209s
3. Meikon Kawakami (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) +0.340s
4. Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing) +0.494s
5. Marc Garcia (Prodina Team WorldSSP300) +0.507s
6. Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) +0.536s
Race 1 for WorldSSP300 is 12:45 local time (GMT+2), and you can watch it on the WorldSBK VideoPass!