In a year of stunning comebacks, Alvaro Diaz’s charges throughout 2022, as well as his consistency, were the staple of his Championship win
The FIM Supersport 300 World Championship has a new Champion to celebrate with Alvaro Diaz (Arco Motor University Team) becoming the sixth different World Champion in the six years of WorldSSP300. The title comes following Race 1 at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve during the Catalunya Round, where Diaz claimed the title with a seventh-place finish, combined with Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki) crashing out of a red-flagged Race 1.
ABOUT THE CHAMPION: success in Spain translates into a World Championship
Born in August 2003 in Olocau (Valencia), the 19-year-old made his WorldSSP300 debut in 2020 and finished 21st in the Championship with a best result of eighth in Race 1 at Jerez which started the 2020 season. In 2021, he competed in, and won, the Spanish championship with the team he currently competes with, while also returning to WorldSSP300 for two wildcard races. He finished fifth in two and claimed his first podium with second, missing out on victory at the Barcelona-Catalunya venue by just 0.003s, a record for closest finish at the time.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY: a record-breaking run puts Diaz on top
In a Championship as unpredictable as WorldSSP300, scoring consistent results can be a challenge but also propel you up the standings. This is exactly what Diaz did throughout his Championship-winning campaign as he racked up ten podiums from 15 races, including two wins, to take the title with one race spare. On only four occasions was Diaz off the podium and on three of those he ensured he scored points to add to his Championship tally.
SMASHING RECORDS: consistency rewarded with Championship history
One of the remarkable aspects of Diaz’s season has been how he has broken records through his consistency. Ten podiums in 2022 broke the record of podiums in a season with two rounds to go, while Diaz also put on a streak of seven consecutive podiums from Race 1 at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” to Race 1 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. This streak also broke WorldSSP300 records as he made more history on the way to the title. These podiums came often from outside the top ten, including Race 1, where he missed out on victory by just 0.020s and Race 2 at Misano, from 13th and 12th respectively and from 14th in both Race 1 and Race 2 at the Autodrom Most. He improved his starting position slightly in France, clinching a podium from tenth in Race 2 at Magny-Cours.
STUNNING FIGHTBACKS: often climbing from outside the top ten to the rostrum
Diaz started seven races in 2022 from off the front three rows, but he did not let this hamper his Championship charge as he came through to the podium on six occasions; the only time he didn’t was in Race 1 at the TT Circuit Assen. In fact, Diaz gained a total of 85 places throughout 2022 including a stunning ride at Assen in Race 2, where he finished second from 28th on the grid and missed out on victory by just 0.002s; the closest finish inside the WorldSBK paddock.
TAKING ON THE ESTABLISHED GUARD: a new team straight to the front
The Arco team made a one-off appearance in 2018 with Adrian Carrasco at MotorLand Aragon, before returning in 2021 with wildcard appearances for Diaz, of which one resulted in the aforementioned podium. 2022 marked a full-time campaign in the Championship with Diaz claiming several wins and podiums on his way to the title. The young team, full of young engineers, were able to beat MTM Kawasaki, who had won the title with Jeffrey Buis and Adrian Huertas in 2020 and 2021 respectively, to take their first Riders’ Championship. It also meant getting ahead of established frontrunners such as Garcia, Victor Steeman (MTM Kawasaki), his teammate Yuta Okaya and Samuel Di Sora (Leader Team Flembbo) among many others constant challengers in the class; the fact it was achieved by a group that started the project mostly as engineering students in 2017 not only makes this achievement outstanding and inspirational, but it opens a new pathway to success within motorcycle racing.
Congratulate Diaz on his title success on social media using the hashtag #D1AZ and re-watch some of Diaz’s incredible moments from his title-winning campaign with the WorldSBK VideoPass!