Italian rider Mirko Gennai was able to break away in the final laps to take his first WorldSSP300 victory in the final race of the season; Yamaha secure Manufacturers’ Championship
The 2022 FIM Supersport 300 World Championship season came to a thrilling conclusion at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve as Italian rider Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) claimed his first win in the Championship after he was able to break away from the field during the Pirelli Portuguese Round to win by almost a second, while the results were enough for Yamaha to take the 2022 Manufacturers’ Championship.
FIGHT FOR THE PODIUM: Gennai takes the win
The Italian rider took his first victory after fighting at the front of the field, despite dropping down the order after a Turn 3 crash involving two other riders, as he became the 25th different winner in the Championship and fifth Italian winner. He was 0.831s clear of 2022 Champion Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team), who made it 12 podiums in WorldSSP300 and 11 in his title-winning campaign, while Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) took third place; the first time he has stood on the podium but didn’t win the race. It also cemented his status as the top rookie in the WorldSSP300 Championship for 2022. It had looked like rookie and debutant Devis Bergamini (ProGP Racing) would stand on the podium as he ran in third place into the final corner, but he crashed out on his own to end the race in the gravel trap despite impressing throughout his debut round.
INSIDE THE TOP SEVEN: little to separate the field
Alex Millan (SMW Racing) took his best result in WorldSSP300 with fourth place, finishing just 0.063s off the podium after a thrilling campaign. It was a tight fight for the podium with French rider Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) was in fifth, but just 0.025s behind Millan at the end of the 12-lap race. Brazilian rookie Enzo Valentim (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) was sixth after a strong result for the Yamaha R3 Cup winner. Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) had crossed the line in sixth place initially, but he was demoted one place for a last-lap track limits infringement at Turn 8; the German, who had to start at the back of the grid for a tyre pressure infringement, classified in seventh place.
ROUNDING OUT THE TOP TEN: only 2.7s behind the winner…
It was a closely packed field in Race 2 with under three seconds separating the top ten, with Marco Gaggi (Vinales Racing Team) in eighth place and only 0.072s away from Lehmann. Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) took ninth place as he ended the season inside the top ten, ahead of Bruno Ieraci (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) in tenth. Ieraci was one of several riders who fought at the front of the field but had to settle for tenth at the end of the race.
SCORING POINTS: finishing inside the top 15
Daniel Mogeda (Team#109 Kawasaki) was 11th and under a tenth away from a place in the top ten, with the Spanish rider having a 1.3s gap to compatriot Yeray Saiz Marquez (Accolade Smrz Racing) in 12th. Saiz Marquez also had a bit of a gap to the rivals behind him, with Kevin Sabatucci (Kawasaki GP Project) in 13th, Sylvain Markarian (Leader Team Flembbo) in 14th and 2017 Champion Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) taking the final points-paying position of the season.
HOUSEKEEPING: to note from Race 2
There was a reduced field for Race 2 in WorldSSP300. MTM Kawasaki decided not to race on Sunday following the crash involving Victor Steeman, meaning Ruben Bijman did not take Race 2 while Yuta Okaya had been declared unfit following a Friday crash. Harry Khouri (Fusport-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) was declared unfit with a low back contusion following a Friday crash, while Wayhu Nugroho (Team BrCorse) and Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing) crashed in Warm Up and were both declared unfit. Nugroho had a right shoulder contusion, right knee contusion and a proximal humerus fracture which was diagnosed at Portimao hospital, while Perez Gonzalez was unfit with a hand contusion and second finger abrasion.
Inigo Iglesias (SMW Racing) crashed at Turn 4 on the opening lap, which dropped him down the order to last place, before he retired from the race at around the halfway mark. On Lap 6, there was a crash involving Race 1 winner Dirk Geiger (Fusport-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki), Humberto Maier (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) and Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse). Geiger was able to re-join the race, as was as Gennai, but Maier retired from the contest. The incident will be investigated by the FIM WorldSBK Stewards after the race. On the last lap, Troy Alberto (Fusport-RT Motorsports by SKM-Kawasaki) and wildcard Tomas Alonso (Quaresma Racing Team) crashed at Turn 14 which ended their races, with both not classified.
The top six following WorldSSP300 Race 2, full results here:
1. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse)
2. Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) +0.831s
3. Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) +1.918s
4. Alex Millan (SMW Racing) +1.981s
5. Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) +2.006s
6. Enzo Valentim (AD78 Team Brasil by MS Racing) +2.262s
Fastest Lap: Mirko Gennai (Yamaha), 1’55.376s – New Lap Record
1 Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) 259 points
2. Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) 180
3. Hugo De Cancellis (Prodina Racing WorldSSP300) 171
4. Marc Garcia (Yamaha MS Racing) 164
5. Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) 146
6. Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) 140