Is WorldSSP300 heading for its most unpredictable season yet?

Wednesday, 23 March 2022 11:40 GMT

With only four of 2021’s top ten returning for 2022, and many riders moving up to WorldSSP, 2022 could even more unpredictable in WorldSSP300…

The FIM Supersport 300 World Championship kicks off at MotorLand Aragon to start the 2022 campaign, with this season set to be one of the most unpredictable seasons in an already unpredictable Championship. The four Champions on the 2021 grid, including last year’s title winner Adrian Huertas, have all departed for pastures new while only two of last year’s top five remain on the grid.

At the start of the 2021 season, three Champions all looked to make history by becoming the first ever two-time WorldSSP300 Champion: Jeffrey Buis, Ana Carrasco and Marc Garcia, who claimed the titles in 2020, 2018 and 2017 respectively. Adrian Huertas spoiled their party last year to become the fifth different Champion in the first five seasons of WorldSSP300.

For 2022, Jeffrey Buis has moved to WorldSSP with Motozoo Racing by Puccetti, Adrian Huertas and MTM Kawasaki have graduated to WorldSSP as well and Ana Carrasco has return to the Moto3™ paddock; leaving Marc Garcia as the sole Riders’ Champion on the grid. This alone sets up an unpredictable season with no clear favourite heading into the new season, but another factor could add to the unpredictable nature of WorldSSP300: only two riders from last year’s top five remain in the Championship this year.

Huertas and Buis have both moved up to WorldSSP after winning the title, but consistent front-runner Tom Booth-Amos has also taken the step up after two seasons in WorldSSP300 and challenging for the title against both Buis and Huertas. From last season’s top five, only Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) and Yuta Okaya (MTM Kawasaki) return. Both are race winners in the Championship, with Di Sora picking up his first victory in 2021 and will be looking to fill the gap left by the departures of Huertas, Booth-Amos and Buis.

In fact, only four of the top ten are returning to the Championship. Sixth-placed Bahattin Sofuoglu is another moving up to WorldSSP after being a consistent front-runner in WorldSSP300, while Meikon Kawakami and Koen Meuffels do not appear on the entry list for 2022. For the riders who remain, Iñigo Iglesias will race for SMW Racing and Victor Steeman switches to the title winners in 2020 and 2021, MTM Kawasaki.

With the number of riders moving on to new adventures for 2022, the 30 riders set for a full-time campaign in the Championship this year will all have their sights set on top spot and potentially becoming the sixth World Champion in the class in six years. Of course, 2017 Champion Marc Garcia still has a chance of becoming the first double WorldSSP300 Champion and could 2022 be the year he makes history?

Follow the 2022 season in full using the WorldSBK VideoPass!